Thursday, December 31, 2015

Caswell Block C1

Just a quickie post today before I begin to get ready for NYE festivities:

Caswell Quilt - Block C1

I appliquéd the last four leaves in place this morning. My goal was to finish it up last night, but those leaves just weren't going to get done after 1am, so I put it aside. This block has been the easiest so far, love it!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Caswell Block A2 and Christmas :-)

Now that the craziness of Christmas has died down in our house, I've been able to put another Caswell quilt block together. Every time I finish a block, I think it's my favourite - and this one is no exception:

Caswell Quilt - Block A2

I did have one hiccup while putting the block together - the original highlights on the far left flower just weren't speaking to me, so I redid it - here's what it looked like before:

In hindsight, the base of the flower probably should have been a slightly darker/more interesting fabric, but I just didn't have it in me to change the whole thing, and it looks okay now.

I'm loving this project, and it's time to select the next block to put together, I just can't decide!

Now I have a couple of happy snaps from Christmas to share with you - first up, another one of Camo decorating his gingerbread house:

Camo continued decorating the house, even after the big day. You won't recognise the house now though, I'm sure it was completely delicious!

Here is a picture of the table ready for our visitors to arrive:

It always thrills me to use the Masons Vista dinner set, it's so pretty on the table, and I love taking the time to make sure everything looks nice and coordinated. I have to confess that I wish party poppers would come in more traditional colours, they do stand out on the table don't they?

And just so you don't think it all stays tidy, here is a snap of the aftermath:

Ohhh heavens, what a mess! It's not a very flattering picture of the guys - they're caught deep in conversation.

A sweet friend Janet was eagle eyed and spotted my gingerbread Advent wreath when I posted the above picture on the facebooks. She asked for a close up, so I thought I'd share with you here too:

I went a little gingerbread crazy this year - the no spread gingerbread recipe I shared in my last post really made it easy to be enthusiastic about baking. It's also quite a delicious recipe, so give it a try if it's your thing.

Going forward we're having a New Years gathering, then two weeks later a dinner for DH's 50th, then after that we can relax a little. Happiness!! :-)

Monday, December 21, 2015

A happy win, and the lead up to Christmas ...

Not so long ago my lovely friend Vicki sent me an urgent message - she asked me if I'd checked out the upcoming Small and Whitfield auction. There was a Masons Vista dinner set coming up and because she was going to the auction wanted to know if I'd like to bid?

Of course I would!!

This is the picture from the listing. Though I don't really need dinner plates, you can never have too many. But the serving dishes and salad/bread plates are what I was excited about.

Sweet Vicki managed to win the auction, and for the bargain price of $300.00. Doesn't sound like a bargain, but if you check out how much serving pieces and plates go for, you'll know why I was thrilled :-) Here is the state of my little cabinet in the dining room now:

I think I'm good for quite a while. The only thing I'd really run for is a lovely soup tureen, and maybe some coffee mugs. The mugs are hard to find!

For those of you that are my buddies on Facebook will have already seen all about this next thing, but I thought I'd share my baking in the lead up to Christmas. You all know I love my gingerbread ... and so do my family - but for different reasons. I tried a new and much more elaborate gingerbread house this year, and I'm thrilled with the results.

The house design has been around for a while and I'd seen a few on Pinterest, the templates can be found here. I also found a recipe for 'no spread' gingerbread on Pinterest, and let me tell you, it's my new favourite thing. Trimming gingerbread house pieces after baking is a bit of a pain, and with this recipe, I didn't have to do it at all!

Here are the pieces after baking:

It was like a delicious jigsaw puzzle.

Here is an in progress shot, I was super worried about the roof fitting.

The blobby bits on the back wall of the house are the supports I used to hold the string of battery operated LED lights in place. Once the icing was dry, I looped the lights over the supports and used more icing to anchor them. You can see the mansard roof in the background. I had to wait until it was super dry before I could attach the tower, and then carefully lift it in place.

And here is the finished article. I'm so pleased with how it looks. The trees in the foreground are icecream cones iced to look like fir trees. I can't even imagine what I'll work on next year - perhaps this one again with refinements ... who knows!

Camo loves to work alongside me with his own creation, and here he is:

The Ikea gingerbread houses are so much fun for little people to work on, and he has fun creating with the icing and sweets.

Last of all for today, I thought I'd share a couple of the mats I've made up during the last week or so:

I always have fun making them, the quilting is my favourite bit. I genuinely think I've made more than 100 of these over many years, and it always makes me laugh that I only have one of my own. I think I might have one left over this year, so if that's true, my personal collection of spiderweb mats will be two! Don't forget if you'd like to make one of these, there is a free tutorial at my website - feel free to download it.

Well, that's it for today, if I don't have an opportunity to get back before our big day, Merry Christmas from my family to yours! xox

Monday, December 14, 2015

Two finishes ...

Last week I had two finishes, but because of preparations for Amy's 21st birthday party, I didn't have a chance to share.

Here is my latest Caswell block:

Caswell Quilt - Block D1

D1 was a fun block to put together. The original block used the same fabric for each of the petals, but I thought it'd be cute to use different ones and I'm happy with the look. The bottom of the block is a bit messy with a tangle of leaves, but it's fun to hunt down lots of greens in my stash.

And this is the finished Dresden Topper, I'm just loving it:

I love how the ric-rac and ribbon trim just completely change up the look of this project. While I'm on holidays I'm going to make one up in cute kid fabrics. I thought it'd make a sweet playmat for a friend who is expecting a baby soon. But first I'm making up a few spiderweb placemats. They're destined to be gifts for the sweet ladies in my Saturday tennis team. I should have the piecing completed tonight - and we have some hot weather ahead, so I'll have plenty of indoor time to finish them up.

Chatter soon!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

New Dresden Doo-dad

Today it has been super hot, so both Camo and I ended up with our tennis games cancelled. Though I love to play, running around a court when it's super hot is not my idea of a great time, so I've been very glad to spend time in a cool sewing room instead.

I've been working on another doo-dad for the shop - I'm just getting ready to quilt it:

These Dresden toppers are really fun, and they pretty much make themselves. The binding requires more attention though, so that'll be a job for another day.

A sweet lady purchased this pattern recently from my Etsy store, and she told me she's making it into a tree skirt. What a great idea, I bet it will be just lovely. This one is made up in French General fabrics (which I always favour) - that toile ... OMG, love it!!

Before I finish up - I just wanted to send a quick "Hi and thanks for stopping by" to a few sweet ladies who sent me messages recently, I haven't been able to message them back as their email isn't enabled:

Dawn - Kootenay Quilter - thank you for your lovely message, I'm so glad you're enjoying my appliqué.

Cityquilter Grace - thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!

Teacups and Stitches - you're right - time for blogging and quilting is hard to come by!

flossypatchedbritches - thank you for the lovely compliments.

Applegate Cottage Quilts - thank you also for the lovely compliments.

Gretchen's Corner - I'm so glad you love the appliqué block.

Marie Christine - Merci beaucoup!

Peggy - don't give up on needle-turn, you'll get there I promise!

I know there are more in my inbox that piled up while I was away, and also some more I haven't been able to respond to, if you haven't heard from me, please know that I appreciate your words very much!

It's on to the quilting machine for me, so I'll chatter soon xox

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Caswell Block E2

Cross my heart and kiss my elbow - it wasn't terribly long ago that I decided I was going to work on two projects concurrently. Once machine piecing, and one needle-turn appliqué. I love the two projects I selected - Honouring our Quilting Heritage, and the Caswell quilt. Well, as it turns out, I've fallen madly in love with the Caswell quilt, and my brain won't let me work on anything else!

Yesterday while I was waiting for Amy, I put the last few stitches in my latest block:

Caswell Quilt - Block E2

This was a fun block to work on - I changed a few things here and there, and I'm really happy with how it's come up, A couple of the fabrics have a little hint of gold - they were a sweet gift from one of my hubby's best friends - he travelled to New Zealand, found them somewhere and thought of me. I've been saving them for a special project. Isn't that kind of him?

I'm not sure what block I'll work on next - I need to take a few days to catch up - I've fallen a bit behind on chores and I want to get that sorted. When I have a clear mind I'll get some more appliqué prepped and also prepare a much more newsy post. So on that note, I'll sign off with a promise to chatter soon!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Two Caswell blocks ...

It has been a busy week, with a few days worked at the shop, being back into the school run/tennis routine, so I haven't managed to prepare a newsy post for you. I did want to share two applique blocks for you though, so here goes:

Caswell Quilt - Block C3

I just put the final stitches in this block last night, and I'm quite happy with it. I was a little naughty though - in the original pattern, the large leaves have much bumpier edges, and because I felt it didn't really add anything to the finished look of the block (the focus is really the berries and the petals) I smoothed out the edge of the leaves to make them easier to appliqué. I'm thrilled with the fabric I chose for the big leaves - it's a real oldie from the stash :-)

Caswell Quilt - Block A5

This is the block I mentioned in my last post that I finished on the ship. It's quite cute, I've used some real oldies from the stash once again - isn't it fun to find fabrics we haven't seen around in a while. It seems I will need to be a little gentler with my embroidery stitches - I think I'm pulling them a little tight. I'm a much better quilter than embroiderer, that is certain!

I was chatting to my lovely friend Linda today, and when we mentioned this project - she said she likes block E2 which has a sweet bird on it, so I'll make that one up next. It will use my alternate background fabric, which is basically the same tone French General fabric, but with a little print on it, how fun :-)

In other fun news, I was asked if my Montmellick Mastered quilt can travel to Melbourne in April next year to the AQC show. I'm thrilled for my quilt to be one of those representing our state, so of course I said yes! And while I was at the show, I got some more pictures of my quilt, so when I get organised, I'll share those with you also. Chatter soon!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Caswell block, and our Singapore Cruise

First up, I just wanted to quickly share my latest Caswell Quilt block - I finished it on Wednesday afternoon at quilt group - it just needed a couple of embroidery details:

Caswell Quilt - Block A1

Why on earth didn't I give it a quick press before I took the picture?? Laziness, that's why ... I'm sure of it! I think this is my favourite one so far. I have made three blocks now - I've also finished the one I showed recently, but I need to wash away the blue lines before I take a picture. 90% of Block A1 was completed on the ship - often while we were doing fun things like hanging in the Schooner Bar doing the trivia quizzes ... or maybe in the High Notes Bar while watching the world go by, or while hanging with the little people down in the pool.

And thinking of our vacation - my family and I returned last week from a two week cruise on the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. We flew to Singapore and cruised back down to Sydney. My parents, Amy and her boyfriend Mark, Camo and I were the happy travellers (sadly Martin had work commitments), and here are a couple of our happy snaps:

This is a quick picture of the view from our room in Singapore - we were only there overnight, and managed to get a little shopping in, but not much. It was really hard to get nice pictures as Singapore is super hazy right now from the fires in Indonesia. I don't really want to get started on it, but it really hurts my heart thinking about the forest and habitat destruction from the fires. Just devastating.

Anyway ... the next day we were shuttled to the cruise terminal, as we got close, we got our first glimpse of the two Royal Caribbean ships in port:

That's our home for the next two weeks! The Mariner of the Seas was in port too, and the passenger terminal was buzzing with people!

When we got on, it was straight to the staterooms to dump our bags and explore, and this is the room Camo and I shared:

We had a lovely balcony on the other side of the curtain, and I managed to while away a few hours there!

On the first night we were too tired to head to the Sapphire Room for dining, but on the second night, and every night thereafter we loved to dine there. We grew very attached to our waiters, they were just lovely people.

Here you see my Dad, Shrijit our waiter, Amy and Mark. I have to admit I don't have too many pictures with me on the other side of the camera, but there are a couple of fun ones I'll share later.

Our stateroom attendant Norman was super fun too, I can't even tell you how much I would have loved to bring him home - he was so cheerful and nothing was too much trouble. Camo loved the towel animals he'd surprise us with:

How do you even come up with these? Super fun!

And the last picture for the day, I nicked this from my Dad's Facebook, a snap of the ship as we were tendering to Airlie Beach:

Such a great picture. I have so many more pictures to go through, some of the Halloween party onboard, a few of different places we visited, and other bits and pieces from around the ship.

We had such an amazing time, and I think it's fair to say we're all addicted to cruising now. Our next trip is already being discussed, and I can't wait. What an amazing year I've had so far, and there is still more to come!

Lastly, thank you so much for all your comments on my lucky win in the quilt show. I'm just getting ready to respond to all my emails, so I'll check in with you all soon. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, November 06, 2015

Major Excitement!

My family and I just got back from vacation yesterday, we flew to Singapore and spent 14 nights on the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas cruising back to Sydney. I'll share more on that later - I want to share something quilty first ...

I barely had time to have some toast and apply fresh deodorant, but last night I was determined to get to our guild's presentation night, and there I learned that my Montmellick Mastered quilt had won three awards!

It placed second in its category - Open Traditional Large, won the prize for Best Hand Quilting, and it received the Retaining the Tradition Award. I am beyond thrilled and can't wait to visit with it and all the other prize winners on Sunday.

Happy Days!! xoxox

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Caswell Quilt - Block A5 in progress

Here's an in progress shot of my next block - A5. I've done a little of the appliqué, but mostly I've just cut out all the pieces. I'll take it with me for handwork - and I've got another two blocks ready to go as well.

The red and the yellow fabrics stand out a lot don't they? Hopefully in the big scheme of the quilt they'll fit right in. I'm still amazed by the number of green fabric scraps I've got kicking around in the stash - I know I'm not going to run out ... ever!

In my mind I'm already dreaming of alternate ways I'm going to put this quilt together - I really need to settle on down. With 30 appliqué blocks to make, I'm not going to be at that stage any time soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Caswell Quilt - Block A3

Yay, I'm just so thrilled, I've finished my first Caswell quilt block (probably should have given it a better going over with the iron ...):

I'm really super happy with how it looks now - selecting fabrics was part of the fun, and it's amazing how many different ones I have in my stash that will look good in this project. Some of them are super old - the blue/burgundy one in the petals must be 20 years old!

It was fun to spend some serious time needle turn appliquéing, though the Monmellick project had a little, it was all quite simple - this one required serious attention to placement and which order to do things in.

Now I can't decide if I should prep another block to take on vacation with me soon, or if I should stick to the hand-work I already have going ... decisions, decisions!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Block 13 and another beginning ...

Amy and I had a busy day out and about shopping yesterday, and when I got home I took the opportunity to finish putting my next block together:

Block 13 - Indian Plume

So many 1" HST's, I'm so happy they've all lined up nicely. I thought it would be fun to throw that little bird in the centre - I will be using up scraps from my Mrs Billings project forever it seems!

And because I've been dying to start it, last night I prepped and began to appliqué one of the blocks from the Caswell quilt.

This is block A3 - I don't know why I didn't start with A1, but this block appealed to me. As you see I have a long way to go, but I'm enjoying it - the fabric selection is really fun. The top fabric in the big leaf on the left I'm not sure about, but I'll keep going and see if it grows on me.

Well, that's it for now - I'm itching to put some more stitches in the appliqué block ...

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Block 40 & 57

Last night I managed to get two more blocks put together, and made good progress on another one which I will finish today. I think this will be a fun project, chipping away at the scraps makes me happy. The blocks don't make a big dent in the stash though, I didn't mention yesterday - these blocks finish at 6 inches - they're by no means large!

For the block I shared already, and the first of these blocks, I was using thangles for the 1" HST's. I don't often use thangles, and I'm not really sure why but some of the HST's were coming out just a smidge undersized - not a lot, but in such a small HST, it was noticeable. So, for block #57 I reverted to my favourite method - to cut a 2" square, stitch either side of a diagonal line and trim - and I'm much happier with the accuracy.

Here are my blocks:

Block 40 - Four Crowns

Can you see in the bottom row there that the HST is a little small? It will disappear into the seam allowance, but having pieces that are a little small makes putting the block together more challenging than it needs to be, and there are a few points on the block that are not quite perfect. Yes, I know, fussy fussy ... I can't help it!!

Block 57 - Quartette

For this block I reverted to my fave technique for HST's, and I'm much happier with the seam intersections - all the pieces came out the right size!

There are a LOT of 1" HST's in this quilt, so I'll get plenty of practice perfecting the technique. The block I'm working on right now has 28 of them! It'll look so cute though :-)

Chatter soon though, I'm dying to get back to my sewing machine!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Honouring our Quilting Heritage - Lori Smith

I'm excited to report that I'm entirely finished my Montmellick quilt, it's washed, blocked, bound, labelled and a hanging sleeve has been applied. It's in the bag ready to be handed in, yay! I decided not to share a picture just now, I'm going to wait for a little bit, but not too long, I promise!

My next primary projects (yes, I've decided to work on two at once - most unlike me!) are an appliqué quilt, which I'm thinking will be The Caswell Quilt by Corliss Searcy, and a pieced project, Honouring our Quilting Heritage by Lori Smith

As well as those two, I'll continue to plug away at my 30's hexies and my French General tumblers when I'm out and about, and as the mood strikes me I'll put together a few scrappy stars here and there.

Today I made up the first block in the Lori Smith pattern ... they're not in numerical order, but in the order they appear in the quilt...

Block 18 - Tic Tac Toe

The original quilt has a lot of brown fabric and a very vintage look. While I'll still be using my repro fabric scraps, I'm probably going to use less brown - I think I'd like a somewhat brighter end result. Let's see how that goes.

I have time on my hands for a couple of days, so I'd really like to get some more blocks made. It's fun to spend time with Bernie again!

Chatter soon xox

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Oops, I missed September!

Yesterday I was certain I'd have time to get a post up on here - I'm not sure I've ever gone a whole month without blogging. But before I knew it, it was midnight and my eyes really needed to close - guild work, cardio tennis, school holiday kiddo appts - my day had disappeared.

I have been busy hand quilting on Montmellick, and I'm super excited that I'll have the quilting done in the next day or so - then it's on to binding, hanging sleeve, label etc. I can't wait! There's no picture to share on that project, but soon I promise!

So that I have a little eye candy for you - I wanted to share a project that one of my sweet friends Chris brought to class a couple of weeks ago:

Chris has been working on the Civil War Love Letters quilt for a couple of years now, and she was thrilled to share that she's finished hand quilting. Isn't it just lovely?

The blocks are just lovely, and Chris stuck closely to the fabric and colour combinations in the book. She told us all it was a big learning curve working on the quilt, but so very well worth it.

Doesn't this quilt look just like something I'd work on? I have to admit that I'm very much tempted, but I think I already know what I'll be working on next. And you know I'll share when I begin :-)

Also in the eye candy department:

Betty brought more show and tell - this is a quilt she worked on for her sweet grandson. Isn't it striking made up in solid fabrics?

Betty said she wasn't super happy with her quilting, but we all thought it was absolutely wonderful, and another fabulous finish. How lucky I am to have such creative ladies coming to classes?

Better dash - I have to run Camo to tennis training, and then it's a quick drop off and dash to guild. Tomorrow will be a much quieter day, and I will be able to get back into the hand quilting.

Chatter soon! xox

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tree Skirt Finished

I don't really have anything exciting to share, but I did want to show you the pictures of the completed tree skirt. It's actually really quite pretty:

It would have been nice to wait for a brighter day to take the picture, but it has been so wintery here and I didn't have the luxury of time.

The quilting made me happy, and it felt like ages since I'd turned on the Bernina:

The tree skirt is living at the shop for a while now, hope you like it!

Things have been testy here - Amy came down with a yukky gastro bug last week. Working in a medical centre she does get exposed to a few icky things. I thought Camo would be fine as he was away on school camp, but on Saturday afternoon he came down with it too. And today it hit Marty. I've been sanitising everything like crazy, and I'm going to pray I don't get it ... because who has time for things like that?? Keep your fingers crossed for me ...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Striped Binding

There really is nothing better than a striped binding ... I just love the way it finishes a quilted item:

Now I just need to get busy stitching the binding to the reverse side of the tree skirt. Wonderful!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Simple Tree Skirt

Today I'm putting together a Simple Tree skirt for the shop, it's never too early to get a start on Christmas projects:

I just love the French General fabrics, they're always so pretty. I had hoped to be further along on this by now - hopefully I'll get to the quilting stage today, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

We'll be making up kits, but if you can't wait until then (or if you're much further afield) you can grab a pattern from my Etsy store. xoxox

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Still Quilting!

Hi there friends, I'm still quilting here, hand quilting of course, and it takes time. I'm out to the margin of the quilt on two sides, and I'm beyond thrilled with how it's looking:

I took this picture under the ott-lite I quilt with, so the fabrics are looking all washed out - it's much more vibrant in real life :-)

Let's hope I can get some more done tonight - I'm sure I have the energy. After an early start for Camo's tennis this morning I had a nap this afternoon, and right now I'm all hopped up on caffeine!!

In tennis news, Camo had two big wins this morning, he and his partner won their doubles 6-2, and then he won his singles 6-3 against a boy he hasn't won against before. So proud!

There is not much more to share in pictures at the moment, but I did see something fun recently - almost like a quilt sighting:

While quilting one night I was watching the old original Footloose movie, and there the scene where the kids are moving the flour sacks around before the big dance, I noticed that the sacks were patterned like the feed-sacks of old. I have a small collection of feed-sack fabrics, but I didn't know they were used so recently. How fun!

And the final thing for today, on Thursday evening I gave a talk to the ladies of the Quilters Guild about my journey as a vintage style quilter. They asked me last year, and I really only left my preparation to a week before the presentation. I was beyond nervous - it's hard to get on stage in front of up to 200 ladies, but it was actually really fun and everyone laughed in all the right places. I call it a success, and I needn't be so nervous if I need to do a talk in future.

Well, that's it from me, I'm heading back to the quilting hoop. Chatter soon!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Speedy days ...

This week is flying by, it always happens when it's school holidays. Camo and I have been busy shopping - he's had some birthday money to spend - and I've also had a little quiet time to stitch.

Last weekend on Sunday we had a lovely time at the birthday of one of Marty's cousins. I didn't want to arrive empty handed, so I baked brownies (which didn't last the day) and on Saturday I whipped up a quick table runner to take as a gift:

I've almost used up the last of this particular border print now - there is only a skerrick left now. Perhaps enough for a little something for me. I think I've had 12 yards of this fabric pass through my hands. It's so pretty - an oldie but a goodie.

Sylvia has lots of wood tones in her home, and a dark red leather lounge, so this fabric really was the perfect choice. She loved the gift and put the runner into service on the table immediately!

And because you know that I'm addicted to it, I'll share that I'm still hand quilting! In a small area, I'm right out to the edge of the quilt. If pushed, I'd say I'm about a quarter done (and that may be generous).

I have some time to myself over the next couple of days, so I hope to get a LOT more quilting done.

If I'm really good, I'd like to also do a bit of a sort in my closet - it's getting wildly full. I was trying to do a "one in - one out" thing, but I fell off the wagon in a big way. In related news, I tossed out five pairs of shoes on Thursday - shocking I know! I really could so some more of that!

Something fun that happened during the week was a little crochet workshop at Victoria's house on Tuesday. Sweet ladies from my quilting class organised it, and it was really fun. I believe I could grow to like crochet, and I'm thinking it'd be fun to work on a scarf - it seems like it'd work up much faster than knitting. Anyone have a favourite pattern they'd like to share??

Chatter soon!! xox

Monday, June 29, 2015


Finally I have set aside a little time to spend at the computer. Isn't it funny how when life gets busy a few balls can get dropped ... and the ball belonging to my blog may have just rolled under the couch. But I have a morning at home today, so I can pick up a few things.

This post may be a little bitty as I try and catch you up on what I've been doing lately, and figure out what I'm going to do with my pictures from Paducah.

First up, I wanted to share that in stolen moments I've battled on hand quilting on my Montmellick project:

This is something I can really only get done late at night, or when I'm out and about, like waiting for a certain small person at tennis training ... or at quilt group when I can get there. Hand quilting is so soothing, and it feels like I've achieved a huge milestone every time I get to move the hoop.

I don't think I'm even one quarter done, so it's not going to be done any time soon, but it's not a race to the finish line, right? :-)

Another significant thing that happened recently is that my little man turned 13!! Oh my goodness, where has that time gone??

The big day was on a Saturday, so after his tennis game (which his team happily won) I took his team mates to Maccas, and then on to a movie - Minions. It was super cute and I enjoy having an excuse to see the kid movies. I wonder how much longer it'll last?? After the movie and dropping the boys off, it was home to prepare for the family party.

This year I didn't have time to make a real cake, so I baked cupcakes the day before, and iced them on Camo's birthday:

Lazy Mum that I am, I even used store bought decorations - Camo chose Monsters and Pirates. But if I'm honest, there weren't that many choices at the grocery store :-) The cupcakes were really yummy though, and by the next day none of the 24 were left!

Another fun thing that happened recently was a couple of fun wins at Small and Whitfield.

I saw on their website that they had a Masons Vista fruit bowl and some loose amethysts coming up in their next auction, and also an oak shelving unit that I thought looked interesting. The day before the auction my Dad and I went and looked at the treasures and placed absentee bids. Dad had found a ring and a bowl that he liked, so in total we had five bids.

The day of the auction I was working, so when I thought it would be finished, I called and had the great news that we'd won four of the five items we'd bid on. I missed out on the shelving unit, and I think Marty is super glad, when it comes to furniture, he thinks we're full!

But here is the fruit bowl I bid on, and it came with a bonus tea cup:

And here are the amethysts, the four stones make a total of just over 30 carats.

I will have fun deciding what to do with them - I know one will be destined for a pendant, and I promised Amy that she could have one - she likes amethysts as much as I do.

Now - I promised I'd get busy sharing some pictures from Paducah didn't I? Well, I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do about that - it seems that most of the pictures I took were of quilts in the show and at the Rotary exhibition. It's not really fair to share quilts without permission from the owners. I will have to see what other pictures my friends have, and maybe even look at some of my pictures from previous visits of things that we visited again. I'll work on it.

But I can share right now the picture of the beautiful Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah - we lunched there on Friday during the show:

It is the most gorgeous historic building, surrounded by lush gardens. This year we ate outside, it was a really nice day, and the ladies of the congregation made us feel very special. There is a picture of our group kicking around, I'll try and find it for you. It's never easy to get 8 ladies in a picture, and at the luncheon we managed it.

Here is a beautiful pink dogwood tree blooming in the garden. This year the dogwood trees in the neighbourhood were kind enough to arrange their blooming schedule to coincide with the quilt show. Everywhere we went we could see spectacular displays of flowers. Our schedule was jam packed this year, so sadly we didn't have time to drive the dogwood trail, but we were able to enjoy the flowers when we saw them.

Obviously I have so many blanks that I need to fill in about our time Paducah, but I do have another picture to share with you. On the last day of our visit, we had a long visit at the Quilt Museum there. Sadly they don't allow pictures in the museum at all, but in the foyer there was this lovely quilt we were allowed to photograph:

I'm not sure of the name of the quilt, but it was made up of the most gorgeous English paper piecing, and the machine quilting was to die for! Being flaky, I don't remember much of the detail of the quilt - it was either a raffle quilt or advertising a book or something like that, the paper pieces logo is in the background there, so I should investigate further.

This year in Paducah and on my other quilt related stops I didn't really buy as much as I have in previous years. I joke with my friends that you can see my stash from space :-) and lately I've been making quilts that are kind of slow going so I'll be a long time using my fabric. I did get some lovely books and patterns, so in my next post I'll share a few of the things I purchased.

Thank you for all the emails I've received checking in on me, and also for the comments on my last posts. I'm way behind on emails - next week school holidays begin, so I'll be on holidays too, and it's my plan to catch up on all things! Famous last words!

Chatter soon xoxox


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