Sunday, January 31, 2010


Yay! I've finished quilting the Double Irish Chain top that really needed my attention. I've also machined the binding in place, so all that remains is for me to hand stitch it down on the reverse side.

It really feels great to have this project almost completed, and I think it may actually be my first official finish for 2010. That really is something to celebrate!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Special Project

There is a project I have wanted to get quilting on for the longest time, but other projects keep bullying their way to the front of the queue. Finally I decided that it was time, and everything else MUST wait.

I'm using one of my favourite backing fabrics - this one just speaks to me. Also, there is quite a nice chunk left from the width of the double wide piece, so I'll have some nice pieces to add interest to my scrap boxes. Happy days!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

K11 - Columbine

My new project - the Nearly Insane Quilt - has revived my interest in working on small blocks, and so I thought it might be fun to work on a block from my 30's Dear Jane again.

This one is K11 - Columbine, and it's really rather cute. I used my favourite freezer paper piecing technique once again. And to prove my love of freezer paper - you can see shadows in the background where I've pressed the block to a waste piece of paper to keep the block flatter while I took the picture.

And in de-cluttering news - I randomly selected an old Flylady email and just went with it. The task was to go to your sock drawer and clear out any old and mismatched socks/hosiery. It was easy to do mine, so I did Cameron's too. His drawer contained socks and bootees from when he was born, so that took a little time. It feels great to get these things done. Little by little, this house WILL be organised!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scrap Quilt Top Done!

On Friday evening I got my 'one hour' of sewing time (from around 11pm until just after midnight) and finished the top of my scrappy quilt.

I have to admit, even though it didn't work out quite as I had planned (with my cornerstone muck-up), I really like it!

Isn't it amazing how that one square stands out so much in the middle there - it must be a photo thing, as it doesn't glare that much in real life.

Many people have asked if there is a pattern available, and what sizes of scraps I've used etc. There really isn't a pattern - this quilt has just evolved for me, and apart from the cornerstones which are cut at 4.5", all the pieces were from my 2" scrap box, or cut 2" from my stash. With that measurement in mind, the rest is easy.

And for something I've never done before - and inspired by Mereth, I weighed a metre of fabric from my stash, and based on that measurement, it would seem that this quilt has used approximately 4.5 metres of scrap/stash fabric. Not bad at all! Once I've made up the backing and bound it, this will have been quite a good little stash-buster.

Tomorrow is Australia Day, we'll be out with friends having the obligatory Aussie BBQ, and on Wednesday it's back to work. I hope I can keep up some of my stitching momentum even with a little less time on my hands.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Yesterday was a day for picking up school books and catching up on some shopping chores. It's Australia Day on Tuesday, and to help celebrate, there have been some activities at the village shopping centre - one of these is a visit from the Remabi Wildlife Park.

Amy has held snakes before, most notably a huge one on stage at Knotts Berry Farm, so she was pumped to have the snake placed in her hands. Cameron took a little convincing, but decided he'd have a try. He still looks a little nervous doesn't he? I have to confess, I would be nervous too ... and I didn't even try to touch it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almost ...

I sewed a little today and got sooooo close to finishing my scrappy quilt top. Give me an hour or so tomorrow, and I'll have this one finished!

It's surprising how many scraps you can use up in one top - but also surprising how much is still left to use. My 2" strips are my favourites, I don't know why, but I always seem to go to them first.

In other news - do you remember me saying the other day that I need to de-clutter in my closet? Well, the very day after I made that statement, a bag showed up in the letter-box. It was a clothes donation bag, and the pick up day was Tuesday. Truly, that bag could not have come at a better time. So, I did a whole lot better than two items out for each one that came in - I put out the equivalent of a full garbage bag of my clothes for collection.

I haven't de-cluttered in the shoe dept. yet. Our trash bin is full - so I'll get some shoes in it after the garbage man comes tomorrow. I'm feeling great about the start I've made in this race against clutter - I hope I can keep up the momentum.

I'm heading to bed now - I'm suuuuper tired tonight. I will really sleep well. xox

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still Scrapping ... (in the best possible way, of course!)

As well as my new obsession (the Nearly Insane blocks), I'm still plugging away at the scrap quilt. Two rows are together. I've made a great many of the sashing strips, and I've also made the additional three blocks I needed.

My original plan was to set 13 blocks on point with large floral setting triangles, but obviously that's not the direction I've ended up taking. I now have 16 blocks total.

In the last post I mentioned that I'm low on the main navy fabric. I won't have enough to surround all the blocks, so I will use the substitute navy fabric to surround four of the blocks and they'll be placed one in each corner of the quilt. Satisfies two of my favourite things - still has scrappiness, and still has symmetry.

If I'm really good, I may have the top finished this week. I do need to get back to some customer quilting though, so my piecing will slow down a little. The kids are back at school week after next, but I'm back at work for two days next week. I simply cannot believe how fast these past 5-6 weeks have gone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nearly Insane Fans

Don't forget when you have the opportunity to go and check out our Nearly Insane Fans blog. There are some lovely blocks being shared, and a wonderful community being created.

And if you're working on your own Nearly Insane quilt, you are entirely welcome to join us.

I think I'm addicted!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Whaddya mean it's not a bed?

While tapping yesterday's post into the computer, Gracie decided she'd go ahead and make herself comfortable.

It was Marty who discovered her. He's so much faster with the camera than me (and a much better photographer I might add).

She was most put out when I heaved her 'offa' there. Any surface is a kitty bed ... any surface at all.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rookie Error

It didn't take me long to realise that I'd made a rookie error. But long enough that there was really no turning back.

You see, I was so excited about getting busy stitching that I didn't think the width of the sashing strips through. 'No problem' I thought at the time - 'The nine patches are 4.5" square, so I'll cut the logs for the sashing strips 4.5" and when I'm ready, I can make nine patches for the cornerstones'. Well ... no.

The nine patches are 4.5" finished. So, I needed to cut the logs for the sashing strips at 5" ... so they would be 4.5" finished. Duh! A truth that became apparent after I'd made half a dozen or so of the cornerstone nine patches and they didn't fit. And of course, I've cut about every 2" strip of reproduction fabric in my scrap box down to 4.5" logs to make up this quilt. So this quilt is taking a new direction - cornerstones, not nine patches. I hardly have any of the navy fabric left (the bane of the scrap quilter) so I've moved on to another navy fabric for the cornerstones and most likely the binding too.

Clearly this quilt is speaking to me about it's own desires for it's finished state, and for now, I'm listening :-)

In other news:

This week two new pairs of shoes have come into my life, and three denim skirts (I guess I'm also on the hunt for the perfect skirt). The shoes are utilitarian, and will be well loved, but regardless of that, it's time I made a new rule. Until April (when I head o/s) whenever I purchase a new item of clothing or footwear, TWO old items have to be thrown away or donated. I have gotten to the point in the closet where I can wedge things in there without coathangers, and it has got to change.

After April I will review the situation, and either continue with this rule, or downgrade to a 'one in-one out' basis. My goodness I hope I can be firm. 2010 is the year of de-cluttering for me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scrap Blocks

Do you remember these scrap blocks? I was working on them a little while ago, and they just kind of evolved. Well, today I have time on my hands and I decided to play with them some more.

I have added another row to the blocks, all consistently the dark blue fabric. And now I'm in the process of piecing together the sashing strips. I'll make up nine patch cornerstones which will also contain the dark blue fabric. I'm excited about this project now. You'll be seeing some more progress soon :-)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Turning Four-T on the home stretch!

I'm really on the home stretch now. I've assembled the centre of the Turning Four-T quilt top. Now I only need to assemble the half-square triangles for the border. Yes!

Most of the HST's are already cut out and ready to go, they just need sewing and trimming. I should be able to tackle that over the next few days, as I have some precious time to myself. I will be quilting on a quilt top, hopefully tackling another NI block, and of course, taking this quilt to the next stage of completion. I see lots of late nights in my future - I'm such a night owl!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Nearly Insane Fans

I'm not sure if I'm entirely outta my mind, but I've decided I really need to get busy on my Nearly Insane quilt - and to that end I need to create the impetus to get me stitching.

So, I've created a 'Nearly Insane Fans' blog, and will post my progress on there. But additionally, I'd like to invite anyone else who is working on the NI quilt to join the blog also.

Send me a message in the comments on this blog, as I'm still in the process of creating the other one and also figuring out how it all works. If I'm organised I could also set weekly challenges etc. Let the fun begin!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Assembling Turning Four-T

Last night I started assembling the rows of my Turning Four-T quilt top. All the sashing strips and cornerstones are cut out and ready for me to put the pieces together in some found time.

Sewing time may be a little scarce this week as I'm working each day at the quilt store - Marty is on holidays though and looking after the small people - and then next week we'll be back on holidays together.

I'll try and get a little more of this done tonight, and if I still have some momentum, I'd really like to pin a quilt. It's just gone 8pm ... let's see how far I get!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

1928 Singer Treadle

New Years Day was entirely wonderful for many reasons. I got to do many of my favourite things, like piecing and quilting - so hopefully they'll feature prominently in this new year. Marty and I also headed to the other side of town to have a look at a sewing machine, and the dear sweet thing came home with us.

Here she is - a 1928 Singer Treadle. In really quite good shape for her age. I have wanted a 6 drawer treadle for such a long time, and we have waited and waited until we found a good one at a reasonable price.

My Puppa had purchased one for me as a child for a small sum - I'm thinking around $20.00 or so, and for what reason I don't know, it didn't come home with me right away. I remember the treadle as if it were yesterday, the drawers were filled with the notions, laces and cottons of it's previous owner. It was like a treasure trove to me. A short time later I learned that a man had offered to double my Puppa's money, and so he sold it. I was devastated. I've always wished for another like it, and now I have one :-)

This one also has drawers filled with cottons, odds and ends, and an amazing selection of feet and accessories. I have to say, I'm entirely thrilled. And Happy New Year to me! :-)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! I know that 2010 is going to be entirely wonderful - power of positive thought right?

Today I will go into the sewing room and get some piecing done. And a little organising too. After all, it is said that what you do on New Years Day you will do for the rest of the year. I have the power to create my future :-)

And though I don't usually make resolutions for the coming year (probably because my resolve is often lost by, say ... February), I'd like to try this year to be a little more organised at home. I plan to pare down my clothes - I have way more than I need. And I'd like to also pare down in the kitchen. I have so many things I don't really use, and not enough space to store it all. So - I'll take on both those tasks with baby-steps. Ohhh ... and work on some 'body-clutter' too, but that will be ongoing forever ... and ever ... and ever ... ad-infinitum.

I hope you spend your New Years Day doing what you love ... and continue to do so for the whole year.


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