Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mugs and Mats

I try and post every other day, but I missed a day yesterday (the 28th) ... I promise I had good reason ... it was my birthday!

The day was entirely wonderful - the girls at the quilt shop had arranged a suprise party for me, I was just gob-smacked. It was a full blown party feast - they must have conspired for the longest time. Thank you so much girls, it was just lovely.

I came home from the quilt store with four customer quilts to work on. I'm enjoying all the quilting I'm doing - but it is meaning my own stitching time is very limited - and for you guys, not a very interesting blog. When the holidays get here in two weeks time, I won't be working at the shop, so I'll have more interesting things to share - it's a promise!

My family visited last night, and we had birthday cake and treats. What a fun day. I received some lovely gifts too, my parents gave me some lovely gold earrings, and Marty and the kids gave me a DVD player for the sewing room, and the second season DVD of My Name is Earl (I love that show!). Regular TV has been terrible lately, so I'll enjoy watching (or at least listening to) movies while I'm quilting.

In the picture - I finished the binding late last night on the second of the placemats I showed you a little while back, and I've rolled them up, and today I'm going to give them to Grandpa and May, as a 'just because you're special' gift. I haven't seen them in a while, and I wanted to stop by for a visit. The two mugs I picked up yesterday at the store, I plan to make up some mug mats and give them to Cam & Amy's teachers at the end of the year.

Well, that's it from me ... I'm off to see Grandpa and then work at the quilt store ... Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bits and Pieces

Marty and the kids went out for a visit yesterday while I was busy working on Maureen's quilt. What was their destination? It was the home of one of Holly's sisters. She's had kittens. They're around 5 weeks old, and will be looking for a good home in a few weeks.

We know of a good home - this one! We decided we didn't want to leave Holly by herself for too long, so these kittens have arrived at a good time. There are three boys and three girls (a grey one and another ginger one not in the picture). I don't think any decisions were made about which one will come home with us - but time will tell I guess.

On a quilty note - not much stashbusting happening for me this week, so not a great deal to report on Judy's blog. I have been quilting on Maureen's quilt. I guess I'm about 1/5 done, I hope to get a lot more done today.

Have a great day everyone! :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Maureen's Quilt

Marty and I have done our civic duty this morning. We voted in the federal election. I think a lot of people had the same idea we did - get it done early and the rest of the day is ours.

We have a BBQ at 4.30pm - so I plan to spend this afternoon tinkering with my webpage, and tomorrow I'll have the day to myself to start quilting on Maureen's lovely quilt.

It's a Susan Murphy design - I'm pretty sure it's called Formal Garden. I'm just enchanted with it. It could take a while to quilt, I'd like to have it done by Wednesday, but that may be pushing it a little. I'll see how far I get.

I would also like to get the templates made up for my next magazine quilt. I've got yet another scrappy quilt planned, and this time I'm doing some curved piecing. I'm feeling very brave about it, I haven't done anything much with curves. I'll share a picture when I've started actually working on it :-)

Also, I'm a little behind on emails right now - I haven't forgotten you all. I hope all our US friends have had a wonderful Thanksgiving - and have a great weekend everyone! x o x

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Using the scraps ...

Just a quick post today - I'm starting to feel weary, and the day is disappearing.

Tuesday evening I started using up some of my 2.5" strips to piece some scrap placemats for my MIL. I figure if I start making a dent in the containers with the cut strips, then I can start cutting up some of the scraps in the huge bins. Of course, with only the four placemats, there was no visible reduction to the strips. And I'll be digging into the 2" strips for the binding. I hope to get to that tomorrow.

In the background you can see the folder cover I made for Amy the other day, I just need to sew the binding down on the reverse side. It used 2.5", 2" and 1.5" strips from my containers. I must have had a 'blonde moment' when I measured up - it it just a teeny bit small for a folder. I just can't believe I did it - a trap for young players! It will however fit two textbooks into each pocket, so I'll get her a couple and it'll still be useful.

A big hello to Kelly - a faithful reader of many of our blogs. She came along to the quilt store today. It was fun to meet her.

That's it for me today - I have a reasonably quiet day planned for tomorrow - let's see how much I can get done.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stash Shame

Judy has got a neat thing on her blog right now - encouraging us to bust our stash and share our efforts in doing so.

You all know that I don't have a huge stash, but what I do have is two bins of scrappage. They're really big - almost two feet wide, and one and a half feet deep. They just offend my eyes every time I see them. Some of the pieces within could be sorted into my fabric closet - but it's a matter of sorting through the mess. Other fabrics are small pieces, like 20cms of yardage - things I may have purchased for applique. I have no idea how to store that stuff.

The rest of the scraps are just that ... scraps and trimmings. I am often really good, and cut the scraps up into my strip bins - but those bins are starting to get really full - almost to the point of not getting the lids on - and I just can't sew them up fast enough!

I just need to get power sewing - it's going to take me years to get through it all, but right now I'm just looking at the bins, and that's going to get nowhere! Thank you Judy for encouraging us - we can do this - together!

On another note - thank you so much for your kind wishes and supportive messages regarding Madaline. It really means so much to know that you all care. x o x

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Today is a sad day, and I'm in some serious need of quilt therapy. Our dear sweet Madaline ascended to kitty heaven this morning. She was only seven, so she's gone way too soon.

I found her still alive under my quilt rack - she called to me in a strange way, and so we rushed her to the vet. It must have been Madaline's last big effort to call to me, as the vet had to revive her, but she advised us that we needed to let her go - she felt that Madaline was brain dead.

We're not sure what happened, but the vet said that snake or spider bite is at the top of her list of causes. The kids are devastated, as are Marty and I - we will miss her in the worst way, and Holly has been searching for her already. It gives me hope to think Madaline has found her long lost friend Sasha, and that they're playing together happily. Love you Madaline. x o x

Friday, November 16, 2007

Customer Quilts

Here's what I've been working at since yesterday afternoon - I have finished up the quilting on Jenny C's quilt, and applied the ric rac around the edge of the final border.

I was thrilled to quilt a free motion feather border for the first time ever - sadly it doesn't really show in the picture. I hope Jenny likes the result, I think it's wonderful.

And my work for the past hour or two has been to apply a binding to the cream wholecloth quilt you see there in the foreground. The customer had someone apply the binding for her - I suspect they may have not been a quilter - and she was really unhappy with the result, so she removed it, and I've done it for her again. I know she'll be happy this time. It's narrow and neat and much more in keeping with the lovely work she's done.

This weekend I will be busy writing the directions and making up some 'in progress' pieces for my scrap quilt - and hopefully I'll get a little quilting time in too. I still have three customer quilts to do. My pile of quilting is like the magic pudding - as soon as I get one done and back to it's home, another quickly replaces it. Lucky for me, I just love spending time in the sewing room.

Have a great day everyone! x o x

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yay - it's finished!

Whew! A Galaxy of Scraps is entirely finished! I'm so relieved! I'm just loving working through my scraps, but there is still a long way to go. It's kind of funny - the more quilts I make - the more seems to go into the scrap containers - all part of the process I guess :-)

This evening, I plan to make up a couple of placemats with my strippy scraps. In the same vein as the Christmas one I made the other day, but without the piping, and with all different fabrics. Carole asked if it was a 'quilt as you go' project, and yes, it was. This is the first thing I've done that way. Susan Murphy is a wonderful teacher, and I love the ideas she comes up with. I've done her Christmas workshop for the past two years and loved it each time.

I was also thinking I may try and make a journal cover if I get the chance. There is one in the Thimbleberries club newsletter this year. Maureen had hers with her today, and it's super cute. Let's see how far I get before bed time.

I also thought I'd share a quick shot of my fabric closet - just so you know it's not quite so anorexic as it was. I know it's far from impressive (and my picture is very dark - sorry 'bout that) but I know you'll all be happy to know that slowly but surely I'm rebuilding my yardage stash. Kim has been desperately worried about the health of my stash - but be assured, I should be able to quilt for a good little while yet *vbs*.

Last of all, I wanted to share that today while I was working at the quilt store, the lady came to collect the Sunbonnet Sue quilt that we finished for her. She was just overwhelmed, and had tiny little weep, and lots of hugs for us all. What a dear sweet lady, and how wonderful to be involved in something which brought so much joy. Gosh it's great to be a quilter!

x o x

Monday, November 12, 2007

Galaxy's Quilted

My scrap quilt 'A Galaxy of Scraps' is quilted! Whew - it seemed to go forever! I started quilting on it at 11.30pm Saturday night, and I finished up around half an hour ago. (4.15 Monday afternoon)

This quilt ended up being bigger than I had envisioned. It's 216cm or 85" square. That's the size I drew it up at, but I didn't really make the size connection until I made the back up. I did the usual thing of joining two pieces of yardage together, selvedge to selvedge, and when I sandwiched the quilt, there was literally 1/4" of backing fabric to spare on each side of the quilt. Normally I would add more, but this time I decided to just go with it and see what happened. Luckily, the quilt didn't 'take up' too much, and I'm find to apply the binding. If I'm a really good girl, I'll get the binding sewn on tonight, ready for hand sewing over the next few evenings.

One of my favourite parts of piecing scrap quilts is using up all my leftover bobbin threads, and odd reels of leftover cotton. I used up a lot with this quilt! I used up six leftover reels, and almost all the bobbin bits and pieces. It always makes me feel very thrifty *vbs*.

Unfortunately over the weekend I didn't get an opportunity to get back to the quilt show - we had too many visitors yesterday to get out for any length of time. Disappointing, because I wanted to get back and look at the quilt show - and I also wanted to meet Mereth and Kerryn - they were going to be there on the weekend. I consoled myself with a flying visit to Spotlight. I needed some more taupe thread for the back of the quilt, and while I was there I found some actual reproduction fabrics packaged up as fat quarters. I treated myself to a couple, and Cameron found a cute fabric with Soccer balls on it that he just had to have. I forgot to take a picture of the fabric - so I'll share it with my next post.

I better run - I need to get dinner on the go. Talk to you soon! x o x

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christmas Placemat

Yesterday a few of my favourite quilty friends and I did a class at the quilt store. It was a Susan Murphy class, and we were working on Christmas items.

I chose to make the placemats, and here is the one I made up yesterday. Isn't it super cute! The fabric with the poinsettias was from my stash, and the red and gold one was purchased on the day - I don't have much red, and this one I thought was the perfect compliment.

Now, I know this will make Kim happy - in the spirit of stash enhancement and because I liked the fabric so much - I purchased an additional metre of each - you just never know when you might need it!

Today it's my hope that I'll be able to start quilting on my 'Galaxy of Scraps' quilt top - I haven't made any plans for today so I can get busy on it, but you just never know what will come up ... Have a great weekend everyone! x o x

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Shopping shame ...

Today is one of my favourite days of the year. It's the first day of the Craft and Quilt fair here in Adelaide, and the fair encompasses the Quilters Guild of South Australia exhibition.

I was lucky enough to be asked to demonstrate for the guild again this year, so of course I happily accepted - I get to work on a quilt within the show, and catch up with all my buddies, and after my duties are done I can prowl around in the vendor area.

For some reason this year, I just couldn't get into the shopping mode - odd for me, I know. All I purchased was the 'Better Homes and Gardens magazine' bag (which is filled with goodies and issues of the magazine), and one ball of 'online' sock wool. I should have tried harder right? I think I was kind of tired. In the spirit of healthy stash enhancement (and you all know I need it) Mum called earlier this evening, and we've made plans to go again on the weekend.

Funny to think it was this time last year that I purchased my first ever ball of sock yarn - from the very same vendor. How much I've learned since then!

On a quilty note, here is a quilt I'm quilting on for Jenny C. It is incredibly cute. It's a Mum's Moment pattern - they have just lovely designs. And Jenny has made it up most beautifully.

I also quilted a sampler quilt on Tuesday for Maureen, but I forgot to take a picture to show you. It has been 'all quilting - all the time' here. But not so much for me.

Well, I better run - I need to get ready for a class I'm doing tomorrow. We're making Christmas projects. I'm glad to be something toward Christmas, this year I have not made anything at all yet, and it's the most disorganised I've ever been!

Ohhh, and I keep forgetting - an Anonymous Mary asked me a little while back about what machine I use for quilting, and whether I do it freehand. Mary - I just use my Bernina - I don't have the one with BSR or anything, it's just a regular Bernina. I rarely mark my quilts, and do most of my quilting freemotion. It's super fun, takes some practice, but it's so worth it. I'm learning all the time, and having a ball. Thank you so much for asking, and apologies for taking so long to get back to you :-)

Well, that's it from me - hope you're having a great week! x o x

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Two tops done

This is Lyn's 'Floral Squares' quilt - I quilted it for her yesterday. It's made of the most lovely flannel fabrics. I've never actually quilted a flannel quilt before. I'm going to have the make one myself. The fabric was a joy to work with - delightfully smooth and soft under the machine.

Aren't the colours and fabrics pretty? I love all of them. Even the fabric on the reverse side is a really pretty gold and cream toile flannel - just lovely.

And this one is her 'Sunrise' quilt top - I finished quilting it on Sunday evening. This is from Thimbleberries Club in 2005. Lyn substituted many of the fabrics for different ones and changed a couple of the blocks. It's really pretty.

Cameron and I will have a trip to the quilt store shortly to deliver the completed quilts and drop off a pattern order. I did have plans for a lunch with Cheryl today, but I'll have to take a rain-check on that. Cameron has a temperature, so he's home from school. We'll be taking it very easy. He had his first transition visit to his new school yesterday, a very exciting time. He's such a little soldier - I can't believe he's growing up so fast!

Last night after I finished up with dinner/dishes/kids, I pieced a back together for the 'Galaxy of Scraps' quilt top. I had planned to do a stash-bust with the 10" squares, but recently I found a bargain priced fabric at Spotlight, and decided to use it instead. It was the fabric I used in the setting triangles of Maureen's quilt - I had hoped to find more - and when I popped in the other day, they were closing it out for $3.00 per metre. So of course, I purchased 10 metres. I probably should have taken the whole bolt. But anyways ... now 4 metres have been used for the back of the quilt. And after that was done, I busied myself cutting up more scraps into my 'strips' boxes. I will tame those scraps if it's the last thing I do!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm into the quilting ...

Quilting item number one was Maureen's snippets wreath. She was so enamoured with Pauline's that she made one of her own. I'm just so into the Christmas fabrics that are around right now - so rich and lovely. I've quilted this one all but for the border. The thread Maureen gave me ... ran out ... this seems to be a big theme in my life right now! I'll pick some more up at the quilt store on Tuesday when I pop in.

So, I got busy on the second quilt on the list. Lyn has been a Thimbleberries club member for a little while, and had a quilt top from 2005 on the UFO list. She has changed a lot of the fabrics for ones she likes better and is racing toward the finish line. I've completed two bobbins worth of quilting - and I really hope I'll have it finished on Tuesday to give to her. I've got my fingers crossed. I feel confident I won't run out of thread on this one. I'll show you a better picture of the quilt when I've finished up the quilting. It's really pretty.

And now for a Meme that Cathi tagged me for ...

Tracy’s Why Do You Craft Meme

1. When did you start to create and make crafts? I don’t remember not being interested in crafts. When I was really little I recall getting in trouble for cutting up handkerchiefs to dress my dolls. I learned to knit at a very young age, and still have a little bear with his own sleeping bag that I made. I started quilting when I was first married in 1992. I was working part time and wanted something to fill in some time, so I took a class … the rest is history.

2. Why did you start creating? I’ve always been driven to make things … maybe it’s because my family have a very ‘arty’ background. So many people in my dad’s family are artists. My Mum has always been a sewer, as has my Grandma, and my Nan was a knitter … it was always going to happen that I would be doing something crafty.

3. Why do you create? I create because I can *vbs* I can’t explain it, but quilting is just something I want to do – from the moment I open my eyes in the morning to the moment I close them in the evening, I want to be in the sewing room.

4. What do you create? I make quilts – I love all parts of the process. Sometimes I make knitted items, but not nearly as prolifically as quilts. I have dabbled in other things, but patchwork and quilting is my love.

5. Has this changed since you began crafting? Well, I’m making the same end product, but I would say I’m doing it more accurately and with nicer tools and supplies. When I look back to some of my early projects, my skills have progressed – and fabrics are so much nicer too!

6. What are your crafting goals for the future? Quilting is my work right now, so I hope I can continue to be inspired, and have opportunities come my way. I feel incredibly lucky to be doing what I love on a daily basis. I love being part of a worldwide quilting community, so I would like that to be part of my quilting future too!

Thank you Cathi for tagging me for this meme – it was fun. I will ask anyone that would like to participate to do so. I always feel like I’ve left someone out if I name people … so I wont … but I’d like to stop by and read all about your crafting!

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'll be a quiltin' fool ...

Here's the back of the Sunbonnet Sue quilt - this is where I got to last night when I ran out of thread ... again! I can't believe it - So far I've used up two of those mid size Gutermann threads. There is only a tiny bit to go, so I picked up a small reel while I was out this morning.

I will definitely have the quilting finished and the binding applied before I go to bed tonight. I've made myself that promise. Time is going to precious for a little while ... because ...

Here are two piles of customer quilts awaiting quilting. Five of them, plus my own quilt down the bottom there. Wendy is bringing me a quilt on Wednesday too - so I have seven quilts to do in the next little while. Whew - I'm going to be burning the midnight oil for the foreseeable future!

In fun news - Sharon and I (Hi Sharon!) went to Ikea today. Gosh I love that place. I really love the Market area downstairs, I could ferret around in there for ages! We found things we'd never heard of before that we just knew we couldn't live without ... and of course more of that wonderful Daim chocolate. I can see me fighting with the kids for rights to that stuff! They had the cutest Christmas decorations - but I resisted those - the kids and I always pick up the new ones for the year when we visit with Santa. That will be on the list of things to do soon also ... the pageant is a week from tomorrow, and all Adelaide dwellers know that the pageant is the official arrival of Father Christmas ...

Better run ... I've got quilting to do ... be sure to have a great weekend. Ohhh ... and Cathi - thank you for the Meme tag, I will get to it soon!


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