Monday, July 30, 2007

Tree Top Done

I really hope you're not tired of seeing this quilt top. I've been showing it to you step by tiny step. I'm thinking that this is a noteworthy step however, so here's a picture.

Borders have been added, so the top is finished. It does need a really good press, and then I can baste it ready for quilting. I had hoped to be further along by now, but I do know I can have it finished in time for the suprise presentation.

The kids and I had fun at the movies yesterday - we saw the new Simpsons movie. Of course the kids loved it, and I enjoyed it too. The cinema was really full, I haven't seen it that busy in a little while. When we came out of the theatre, the queue was huge, we're glad we went to an earlyish session.

Nothing much more of note happening here ... I'll catch up with you all soon! x o x

Saturday, July 28, 2007

More on the Tree Quilt

Here is where the 'suprise quilt' is up to. I only have two diagonal seams left to sew, and I haven't managed to work up the energy today to do it. What I have done is a little knitting on the current sock, and this afternoon I even took a little Nanna nap. This week must have taken more out of me than I thought, as it's rare for me to sleep in the daytime.

I should be able to finish the seams this evening, and then put the border on. I've chosen a cute William Morris style print for the border, it should look great. It would be nice to get the quilt basted tomorrow so I can get busy on the quilting.

There were a few questions about blocks being different sizes having been stitched by different people. Good call - I did anticipate there might problem with that. There were two blocks that I had to use a scant seam on the block when attaching to the sashing strips. One had to be eased a little, and hopefully the quilting will hide any problem that will create. I knew that sashing strips would have to be used, it would have been a nightmare to put together if the blocks were to abut each other.

I mentioned my sock knitting earlier - just before I started preparing dinner, I picked up the instep stitches and started working along the foot. So, I'm on the home stretch of the second natural/cream coloured sock. Something I'm going to do after I finish up this sock is unravel the first pair of socks I knitted. I haven't actually worn the first socks because I don't like the pattern as much as the one I'm using now. Because the yarn was quite a pricey one, I thought I'd knit the wool up with the Patons pattern. I know I'll like it a lot better.

Last up, a quick shout out to my friend Jenny, she popped in for an unexpected visit this afternoon, and it was wonderful to see her. Let's have a sewing 'play date' soon hon, I'll put the coffee on!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday evening already!

Ohhh my goodness, this week has completely flown by. I can't believe I'm almost done with Thursday and racing toward Friday! I've had a big two days, full days at the quilt store. I'm completely out of touch with working whole days and I'm feeling really washed out. How I used to work full time before Cameron arrived I'll never know.

I thought I'd share some pictures from the store yesterday afternoon. As you know, I've been knitting socks, and the knitting bug seems to have caught on with a LOT of the other girls. Even Cheryl has knitted up a cute bag - I never thought I'd see Cheryl knitting, but you just never know what peer pressure will do to people *vbs*

And here is a quilt that Jenny has been working on for a while. She's just gotten it back from the machine quilter. My cell phone picture doesn't do it justice - this is one lovely quilt. Jenny has declared that she won't be working with any blue strips for a mighty long time!

Last of all, I have fulfilled my promise, and there are a couple more Sewing Machine Mats in my Etsy store. I just finished the binding on one a few minutes ago.

Tomorrow I'm going to have a fun day playing with the 'surprise quilt'. I picked up the backing and the batt today at the quilt store. Cheryl kindly donated them toward the special gift - she's such a honey. I'm really excited about how the quilt is coming together, and as soon as I can, I'll share some more pictures. I'm now going to make lunches for tomorrow, and then head to the land of nod - I really feel like I've earned a big night's sleep. x o x

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Among the Evergreens Quilt

There are some quilting friends that I'm reasonably certain don't stop by my blog. I'm pretty sure that the the intended recipient of this quilt is one of them. I really hope so, or this quilt won't be a surprise.

I'll just say that I didn't make all these blocks, just four of them. A lot of other ladies made one or two blocks each and I'm currently putting them all together as a special birthday gift for a wonderful friend. I'll share a much better picture and more information after it's actually given away.

Isn't it fun how people can all have the same set of directions, and all come up with the most wonderfully individual blocks. I love each and every one of them, they're just great. I hope that the setting I've chosen and the coordinating fabrics will do the blocks justice. It's really fun laying the blocks out and putting all the bits together.

Tonight my friend Jane and I went to a movie. We saw 'Knocked Up' - it was a really funny movie. It was nice to have some time out together. I haven't been getting out so much lately with all the quilty stuff going on. Tomorrow I'm working at the quilt store, and on Thursday too. I haven't been there over the holidays, so I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

A couple of people have expressed interest in a pattern for the sewing machine mat. I don't really have one, I just made mine up based on a tutorial that I saw over at Dawn's blog. I don't remember exactly when it was, but I'm sure it'll be in her archives. I'll have a looky later in the week to find the exact post. The mat that I made sold very quickly, and I've had a couple of requests for more, so I'm hoping to have a couple more made by the end of the week.

Ohhh, and I nearly forgot - Cameron's first day at school was entirely wonderful. There were no tears shed by either of us, and this morning he wanted to go back, so that has to be a good sign. It's really hard to believe my little guy is growing up, but I know it's inevitable.

Well, that's it from me, I'll TTYL. x o x

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Stress Free Weekend

I have had the most wonderful weekend. Really stress free. The only 'have to do' stuff was to take Amy to netball yesterday morning, and to do a little grocery shopping. My time has been my own pretty much, so I've been knitting and doing a little piecing.

It's been a while since I've put anything new in my Etsy shop, and since Bonnie loves hers so much, yesterday I made up a new Sewing Machine Mat. I really like making these mats up, and as I have the chance, I'm going to make some more up with my scrap fabrics.

It's also my plan to make up some more Log Cabin coasters during the week.

I have also working been on the pairs for the socks I made up during the week. Normal people would knit up one sock and then make it's pair, but I don't seem to have been working that way. I hope it's not the dreaded second sock syndrome. Anyways, I've just picked up the instep stitches for the second plain sock, so it shouldn't be long now before I have that one finished.

Dinner time is almost here, so I better go and get dinner on the boil. We're having pasta tonight - quick and simple. And then I'll make lunches for tomorrow ... because tomorrow is Cameron's first real day at school!! OMG, my little man is growing up. I just don't know how I'm going to feel - the emotions just may get to me. I'll TTYL.
x o x

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stuff & Eight things ...

Yesterday afternoon I felt the need to do some mindless piecing, so I thought it might be fun to have a try at the Split Nine Patch blocks that I've seen so many times on peoples blogs. I really like it! I got three blocks done before I was diverted by other things, but judging by how many blocks I'll be able to make with the squares I have, I'm one third the way toward a lap sized top. I'll add borders and call this one done.

I have a few things I really need to work on - I need to make up one more tree block (I think I showed them recently) and then I can put together a quilt which is to be a surprise friendship quilt for a quilting friend turning 70. A whole pile of girls in my class have made up blocks, and it's going to be really lovely. I have until about August 8 to complete the quilt, so I should get busy. You all know how I can be with deadlines tho ... I'll probably get busy on it come August :-)

And here are my latest sock finishes. You saw the plain one the other day, but I actually had to do some frogging on it. I realised after I tried it on that I'd made the foot too short. I read the wrong bit of the pattern and had made it 12cms instead of 15cms. Last night I snipped off the grafted part of the toe and ripped it back to where I'd started decreasing, then increased the length by the extra 3cms and finished up again. With all the grafting practice I'm getting, I don't even have to read the directions any more! I really like the two colour sock, and this natural colour will go with so many of my clothes. Yay! for Ebay and a vintage yarn find :-)

Last up - the other day Jodie from Quilting in Paradise tagged me to reveal eight things about myself. I'm so bad at these meme's, but I thought I'd give it a try, hopefully these are kinda random things:

1. When I was a teenager, I once kind of scammed a used car sales person. I ran out of petrol this one day, and I was really stuck. I was across the road from this dealership, so I went across and pretended to be really interested in a car. I took it for a test drive and organised for Marty to get some petrol for my car. The guy hassled me for ages afterwards to buy the car, but I figured it was penance for 'using' the dealership's car.

2. Speaking of Marty ... I can remember the very first day I laid eyes on him like it was yesterday. I was out on a date, and saw him walk by - I thought he was so very cute and I remember my eyes following him as he walked. I was 15 at the time. He was kind of friends with the person I was out with, but it was 4 years later before we would spend any time together.

3. We built our first home together when I was 22. Afterwards we vowed we'd never build again. Not that we'd had a really bad experience, but it was hard work getting the house set up. In 1999 we decided we had outgrown that house and bought a larger established house. We have now declared we'll never buy established again - so I guess that means we're stuck here!

4. Regarding houses - I really hate cleaning house. In fact, I hate the thought of it more than anything else. Once I get into it, I don't mind it so much, but I have to force myself. Having said that, I get really edgy when the house gets too messy. I almost don't know where to start. Thank heavens for Flylady!

5. I totally rely on my laptop, and can't imagine how I ever lived without one. My schedule is in there, and if it's not in the schedule it doesn't happen. All the budgeting and my work - and anything and everything else is in there. This is why I almost freeze in fear when the laptop 'burps'. Hubby tells me to backup more often ... and I should listen to him more too :-)

6. I wash my hands a lot! I don't like the smell of food (or anything else) on my hands. I don't know why, because I'm not OCD or anything, but I just like my hands to smell clean.

7. Here's a naughty one ... I had a lot of problems turning 30, it really messed with my head. So, to reclaim my youth I went and had some body piercings. I'm not going to share where ... but some people who read this will know what I'm talking about. Sufficient to say I don't have those piercings anymore!

8. Hmmm ... what else shall I tell you ... I know - I love rubbishy TV. Things like Big Brother, Cops, Cheaters ... you know, stuff that has no value at all. I don't know why - maybe it's to see how the other half live or something. Hubby can't understand it at all!

Well, that's it - I've done my eight. Not as hard as I thought it would be, and probably not as interesting either. Now it's your turn ... I'm not sure who's already done this or not, so if you would like to do it, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I heart Ikea!

I thought I might, and I did - I visited Ikea for the first time ever. It wasn't that long ago that I would see ads in magazines and wish that we had an Ikea in our city. We finally did get one around two years ago, and as much as I really wanted to go visit, I never did manage to get there.

Well, now I know what I was missing out on! Mum, Amy and I went today, but I think I need to re-visit with Marty. There was sooooo much I could have laid down cold hard cash for, but I practiced some restraint, and you can see my purchases in the picture. Cute kid stuff, and some useful stuff too. And may I say 'Daim', their chocolate is good!

And if you're wondering about things on the quilty front - I did manage to get the directions done when I said I would. Yesterday I finished up all the other bits and pieces, and this morning I put the quilt into the mail. Yay! The freedom of not having something I MUST work on RIGHT NOW! When I got home, just thought I'd check the ole' email, and OMG, there was a commissioning letter for a quilt I haven't even started yet, with a due date in around 28 days time! Whew ... I thought about it for a little, and called the editor. I had to politely decline on this one. She's going to check out her schedule and work it into a later issue for me. I just won't be able to get this particular quilt done that fast. Shame, it would have been nice to have a project in the yearbook. But there will be other issues - and I don't want to do half a job just to get it done in time.

Last night after the kids had gone to bed, I watched a DVD I purchased recently - Miss Potter. What a lovely movie. I wasn't prepared for how sad some of it was, but I enjoyed it just the same. I grafted the toe of the sock I started the other day. It's made from some vintage yarn I got on ebay. I think it must be from the 60's or earlier - as the ball is measured as 1oz. I think we went metric in the late 60's (I could be wrong).

And after that sock was done, I decided to try my hand at some two colour socks. I'm still using the same pattern as normal, but trying out a stitch that I learned as a kid. The vertical stripes are slipped stitches with the brown yarn, I really like the texture it creates. I'll only do this pattern until it's time to turn the heel, and then I'll switch back to just using the brown yarn. I think it'd be a headache to continue the pattern while decreasing etc.

A final note - Jodie from Quilting in Paradise has tagged me to share 8 things about myself. I'd like to do it, and I'll just have a think about what to share (I'm super boring) and hopefully I'll do it in my next post. Thank you for choosing me Jodie :-)

That's it from me - TTYL
x o x

Monday, July 16, 2007

Deadline - I scoff at thee ...

My approach to deadlines appears at best to be unconventional. Especially with regard to the one that is looming.

I have finished the quilt. But I still need to finish writing the directions and make up the in progress pieces. The quilt needs to be in Sydney on Friday, so at the latest it needs to be in the mail on Wednesday. It's now late afternoon on Monday, and am I working on it? Nooooo ... I'm excited to get some knitting done. *lol*

But how could I not be? I have been knitting away with some vintage wool that I quite like, and on that sock I turned the heel last night, that means I'm on the home stretch :-) And today, I stopped by the Yarn Barn and purchased some more of that strawberry colour I love so much, and some cream to make a pretty pattern with the natural colour ... and they had this book I just had to have ... and ... and ... I need to take a breath don't I?

I solemnly swear that by the time I go to bed tonight I will have completed the directions for the quilt. And tomorrow I will make the in-progress pieces and get the whole lot ready for the post. You are all my witnesses.

And on Wednesday I will knit ... or quilt ... or go to Ikea *vbs* Because that is how I roll ...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Starstruck is quilted!

Woohoo, the Starstruck top is now quilted and bound. When the quilt comes back from the magazine, I want to do a lot more quilting, but for now I'm happy with where it's at. I bound the quilt using four of the different red fabrics, in keeping with the somewhat scrappy theme.

I love how the quilt looks and I'm just thrilled that I've got it done. The directions and the 'in progress' pieces are next on the agenda, but I've decided I'll start working on them tomorrow. I have worked on this project so solidly, I really do feel like a break.

What I could work on is the cream coloured scarf that I started recently, but I'm actually going to unravel the tiny bit that I knitted up. The reason is that I would like to do the sides differently. They have two stitches of stocking stitch on each side, but I think I'm going to chance it to four stitches each side of moss stitch. I think I'll be happier with it laying a little flatter, and for the scarf to be a touch wider.

Instead, what I'm going to work on is casting on for a new pair of stocks for myself. I love, love, love the pinky coloured ones I made up not so long ago, and wear them with boots at almost every opportunity. They are the most comfortable socks I've ever owned, so I'd really like to have another pair to put into rotation. Obviously I won't get a lot done tonight, but it'll be fun to have a different project in my hands.

Marty and the kids arrived back from their camping trip safely a couple of hours ago. I think they will all sleep very soundly, as will I. Being the nocturnal creature I am, I stayed up way too late each and every night they were away, but I did have a lot of fun, and while I was home, I got a lot done.

Now that life is to return to normal and my deadline is almost met, I will be able to catch up on the blogs I've been missing out on. I look forward to reading all about what you've been up to! See you soon! x o x

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My nest

Hey everyone. My laptop is back on the air, so I can now resume normal internet browsing/posting/time wasting :-)

I thought you'd like to see where my backside has been parked in every spare moment for the past few weeks. If all goes to plan, I'll quilt into the wee small hours (again) and will have the quilting finished tomorrow!! Which will be wonderful, because then tomorrow during the day I'll be able to apply the binding and then work on the directions. I'm a little edgy right now, as this is the closest I've ever been to a deadline without actually having the project finished. I can't imagine that I'll never get myself into this situation again, rather, it will give me comfort, and in the future I'll get closer and closer safe in the knowledge that I always manage to get through - somehow or other *lol*

And here is a picture of what the big boys and the kids are up to right now. In case I haven't brought you up to speed, Marty, two of his mates and the kids are camping right now up at Yalpara Station. They're sure to be having a total blast. They left Wednesday morning at 9am and are expected home on Saturday afternoon/evening. Thanks to amazing technology and cell phones, Marty was able to email me 5 pictures via his laptop and cell phone. Amazing!

This trip away means uninterrupted quilting time for me, and play-dates with my girlfriends. Tonight Petrina is coming over for a movie-fest and take out Indian food. I can quilt away while we chatter and catch up with Mr Darcy :-) Tomorrow I'm going to Karen's house in the evening for much the same, and on Saturday morning Natalie and I are catching a movie at the Plaza and we'll have lunch somewhere nice.

It's a rough life, but someone has to live it!! :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Promise not kept ...

Well, the day before yesterday I promised I'd make a post yesterday with quilty content. Hmmm ... clearly didn't happen. In my defence ... my laptop has 'burped'* again. Marty is currently busy seeing what I've lost ... or more accurately ... what the laptop has managed to keep.

I'm just staying out of his way and keeping my fingers crossed. I think I may have to add a new laptop to my wishlist ... gosh I don't want to, cuz I love my laptop ... we'll see.

So, I'm going to keep plugging away at the Starstruck quilt and smile brightly.

Note: * 'burped' - a polite term for blue screen of evil death :-)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Another Big Night

Gosh we've had some big weekends lately. It's birthday party and sport central here!

Yesterday morning Amy had her club netball, and another win. They've gotten the club team sorted out now and hopefully they can keep up the momentum for the remainder of the season. After netball, I was able to drop off the quilt at the store that I quilted for a customer. It looked nice, and was nice to be able to have it finished and out of the way. Now I can concentrate on the Starstruck quilt.

Cameron has been doing 'Auskick' which is a program run by the Aussie Rules clubs to teach little people the rules of the game. Last night was his big night, his group selected 24 of the 50 kids to play on the field at Aami Stadium at half time during an Adelaide Crows home game. Ohhh my goodness he was excited, and so were his little friends. Look, you can just see him there in the red, I've circled him so you can be sure. Our tickets were so high up in the grandstands, and we were kind of glad of it - we were undercover and it was quite a rainy night.

This picture is of the Adelaide Crows breaking through their banner. Hard to see once again, the players race was on the other side of the ground. We were lucky that Cam's adventure was a home game for the team that we support, as it could have been for the other local team. The game was a sellout, so there were about 50,000 people there, and the Crows had a big win 102 points to 31. It was a great night out!

Well, that's it from me for now. I promise to post something with quilty content tomorrow! x o x

Friday, July 06, 2007


Just a quick post - it's hard to type because my fingers are still trembly!

Amy's Netball team won the Grand Final! It was a complete nail biter, we were down by several goals to begin with and at each of the breaks it was almost even. The girls held it together and managed to close out with a 22 to 19 win at the final buzzer!

I'm so proud of them all, they all played so well. I'll share a picture of the team soon, some of the parents have promised to email thru some of the happy snaps.

Great job Stars!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Quilting ... or Not!

Last night I should have been quilting some more on the Starstruck top, but I have to confess that I simply couldn't face another evening of quilting. I've been working on it solidly for days, and I'm just over it right now! I won't have it done in time to finish the binding tomorrow, but I really don't mind. I definitely needed a change of pace.

I saw on Crazy Aunt Purl's blog a few days ago a very cute cream coloured scarf she's working on, and thought I'd have a looky for a similar pattern on line. I found a cute one at Mim Knits. You can click here to download the free pattern, it's very nice.

Don't look too closely at my efforts, it's been a while since I've done any knitting on regular needles, and an even longer time since I've done any cabling. Regardless though, this should be a fun 'take along' project, and one that will take me some time. I think it's supposed to finish at around 7ft long!

Today was my day for teaching at the quilt store. My class was in the afternoon, but in the morning I volunteered to help out. The quilt group I belong to - the Wynn Vale Quilters - was having a visit to the shop, and when a big group visits it can get quite busy with all the cutting and stuff. We were just worn out by the time the girls moved on to their lunch stop, and a good time was had by all.

Also shop related - I've had an idea for a class later on in the next term, so Cheryl has supplied me with a couple of charm packs so I can put some samples together. I'll get started as soon as I've finished up with my current deadlines.

Ohhh, and I keep forgetting to mention. When I posted the picture of the table runner for the bloggiversary draw, a couple of girls asked me about binding on unusual angles. I plan to make up some more hexagon pieces for my Mum soon, so when I get to the binding, I'll show you how I apply the binding. It's super easy, I promise!

Well, that's it from me, I'll catch up with you all again really soon! x o x

Monday, July 02, 2007

Best laid plans ...

Today I had a plan ... I planned to quilt all day until around 2.45, I'd then pick up Cameron and go and run Amy's team thru some Netball drills.

Mother nature had different plans:

I took this picture from our bay window, and it actually doesn't look that bad. Wow, pictures can be deceiving. We had a rain front come thru at about midday, and it has been cold and windy. Now, I love the rain, we need the rain, bring it on. Except for on Monday between about 3.30 and 4.30pm.

Normally I wouldn't mind in the least if we missed out on training once or twice. I mind just this week tho ... why?? ... OMG, our girls are in the GRAND FINAL on Friday!! I'm very excited for them, and hope they can bring it home. We'll have just about everyone we know there, so there will be no lack of cheering. Be sure to have your fingers crossed for us all.

I'm still hand quilting away here, so there's not much to show. I'm working my way around the half blocks in the border now, I feel confident I'll have the quilting done in time to hand sew down the binding at quilt group on Thursday.

Well, I'm about to head into the kitchen now to rattle some pots and pans. Hope you're all having a great day! x o x


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