Saturday, December 31, 2011

I forgot to include this photo.  I was looking in the back of a cupboard for some more bits of red that might have escaped the tub when I came across this pile.
Around 1999, I was saving fabrics for 3 quilts in magazines.  I remember it all so well, not much money so bit by bit over time I squirreled away fabrics.  And here they are!  Found still in their own bags with the magazine.  All carefully labelled with many post-it notes.
Well, fashions and tastes change, let me tell you.  Mine certainly have.  Several bits were "What was I thinking?" material!
So, now it's all moved out of the bags, into the tubs for use.  Some very useful neutrals in there.
The reds are already cut into strips and are in my string blocks.
Oh, and the magazines are back on the shelf!
Stitching away madly on Step 4 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.
I'm just a little behind!

Step 2, 3 1/2 " string blocks, I still have to take the paper off and trim to size.
Skipping Step #3 for the moment, on to Step #4.
5 1/2 " Red string blocks.  Happy to say I'm 2/3 finished stitching these.  I'm prefering not to think about the de-papering and trimming at the moment!
I don't keep strings, so I cut strips from my red fabric bin.  I've made several mystery quilts with Bonnie that need large amounts of reds, so I'm very happy to say that I'm almost to the end of a tub of fabric that has been around since the early 90's!  LOL.
I really enjoyed looking at the selvedges, some early Judie Rothermel and Jinny Beyer.
Happily waiting together for trimming and de-papering.  And then on to Step #3 which involves more cutting of some (so as not to frighten myself- it's actually about 400 I think) black and neutral triangles.

Monday, December 26, 2011

We very nearly had a white Christmas yesterday!
A day full of strange weather patterns- the day started clear, sunny and hot.  About 30 degrees C and quite humid, by lunchtime, it was a very gray day indeed, threatening rain, but still very warm and humid.
Whilst eating our Christmas tea about 5 pm, we had the best thunderstorm with the biggest hail I've ever seen.

This was a smallish one!!  The noise as the hail hit the road and the roof was very loud.

Dessert made the experience so much easier to take!  Especially after we checked the holes in the Laserlight roof over our back verandah.  Oh well, at least no-one was hurt.

Stitching over Christmas....

is a lovely way to spend some quiet time.
I'm moving between projects as my heart desires at the moment.  I've been stitching on the Vignette mystery quilt blocks for a couple of days.
Here's Block #2.
I skipped over Block #1 in the embroidery stakes, and moved onto this block.
Chain stitching my heart out whilst watching "Midsommer Murders".
I'm having trouble maintaining the "flow" of steps with Bonnie's mystery this year.  She has posted step 5, but I'm still on Step 1, maybe has something to do with needing millions of tiny triangles sewn together!
Little by little though......

Whilst I had some spare time yesterday in a very quiet house, I started cutting the foundation papers for the next couple of steps. 
3 1/2" and 5 1/2 " squares to be string pieced.  Can't wait to stitch those, I love little string blocks.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


and a very Happy New Year to everyone.
It's 1204 am on Christmas Day here, time now to eat Santa's biscuits, drink his beer, and put the Reindeer's carrots back in the fridge!  The DD's will be up early.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We set off for Adelaide after a lovely few days R and R in the great Australian bush.
A stop in Nhill for lunch produced a lovely surprise- their local patchwork shop was open on a Sunday.  A little shopping to help the local economy was in order.  Jennifer, of Jennifer Meek Giftware  has a lot of lovely fabric in a shop that still boasts 15 ft pressed tin ceilings.  Gorgeous, in a word.

Lovely potential quilting patterns!  No tiled floors though!
 Whilst in Adelaide, The Sewing Sanctuary  in Aldinga Beach was visited and purchases made.  A lovely shop with a little coffee shop attached for after shopping refreshment.  I made some unexpected purchases here.  I've been looking for a fabric for a quilt- but no idea what range or who made it.  Luckily, there it was tucked away on a shelf, languishing.  Well, no more.  One metre came home with me, I was very excited.
A quick trip to Brighton to visit Patchwork By Sea  was also very welcome. 
Lovely ladies in all  three shops, an added bonus to some time away.
Being December, harvest is in full swing in Northern Victoria across to Adelaide.
Trucks and farm machinery everywhere.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Back home again after 9 days away with my family on our Christmas holiday.
We had 2 nights on a farm stay ably hosted by Sally the sheepdog.
A couple of riding lessons went down very well.

Apparently I'm the best mum in the world at the moment!
All I can say is 2 1/2 hours of riding for them equals 2 1/2 hours of stitching in piece and quiet for me! LOL.
The scene of much sewing.  A truly lovely way to spend a few days.
I can wholeheartedly recommend a family getaway at Grelco Run in the Grampians.
Even better, I have something good to show for all my work whilst away-
Somewhere along the way, I've lost a couple of hexagons to finish that lower corner.  Not to worry, on to them next.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The school year is coming to an end soon, so I've been preparing some hand work tor those times sitting waiting to pick-up kids from friends houses, from the pool, etc.
Since I finally succumbed to the Vignette mystery, I've been tracing out the stitchery border patterns.  Hours of waiting time there!

I'm trying out Leanne Beasley's tip of tracing the design with a fine Pigma pen.  I usually use a Pacer pencil, but I often have trouble seeing my lines, and the lead "grabs" at the fabric.  The Pigma was very easy to draw with, gliding over the linen fabric.  Because it's so fine, the embroidery should cover it nicely.

 This is the current disaster on my sewing table.  Not a bad disaster, just a big mess as I cut and piece 1/4 square triangles into cute little hourglass blocks.  These little beauties are 2 1/2" square at the moment.

These little blocks are step 1 in Bonnie K Hunter's new mystery "Orca Bay".

The icing on the cake this week was winning a giveaway on Lurline's blog  Lurline's Place.  How gorgeous are those fabrics?  I've love Aneela Hoey's fabrics for ages, so the layer cake of Sherbet Pips is wonderful.  The charm pack of Meadow Friends is bright and cheery, and a fabulous Melanie Hurlston pattern was also included.  Then there were the little bonus extras.  Sooo happy.  I'm a real sucker for a luscious hand made cake of soap!
Ideas for the fabric are already swirling around my head!
Happy Days.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Last night was Friday Night Sew In night.  I had absolutely no idea what to sit and stitch this month.  I have a few projects that I could have worked on, but wasn't feeling very motivated to continue with them.
Luckily!, I had a project waiting in the wings.  At the beginning of the year, I purchased the first Vignette magazine.  I fell in love with the mystery quilt contained inside, and purchased the fabrics and threads.  I knew I wouldn't get to it for ages.

 So, from this lovely group of fabrics....
I cut and sewed all evening...

and ended up with these...
Fourteen sweet little Churn-dash blocks.
This is just the start, there's a lot of embroidery on linen in the borders of this quilt.  That's the next job!
Oh, and of course, Bonnie K. Hunter's new mystery - Orca Bay- just started last night too. 
I have fabrics kind of chosen, but I think I'll leave the first step until I go to my regular sewing night next Friday.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I had very high hopes of getting a lot of sewing done this week.  Unfortunately (for my sewing projects), I've been reading instead.  Last night I finally got some of my Sew-jo back and finished stitching down the hexagons that I stuck down about a week ago.
And now that they're all sewn down, I see that my curves aren't all equal.  Oh well, not unpicking them for anything!
Off to stick down some more shapes.  Or as my woodworking DH says- off to do a "glue-up".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some progress and almost a disaster...

Well, some progress is being made on my Anna quilt.  Lots of little hexagons in the border to stitch around.  It's quite an easy border really, just lots of sewing.
I almost had a disaster of the quilting kind whilst placing the hexagons where I wanted them.  Wiped down the kitchen bench to spread the quilt out on, and when I started placing the shapes an ominous stain appeared through the fabric.  With my heart in my throat, I turned the quilt over to find a large spot of the very lovely chickpea curry from tea now on my border.
I can't describe the feelings, I ran through options of washing the top, or just sponging it a little, as I turned it back to the right side.
As I looked I realised that a well place hexagon would cover up the stain very well.  Big smiles all around then.  So, crisis averted, thank goodness.
Perhaps next time, I'll hose down the bench before I start!  LOL.
All's well that ends well.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I just love Quilting.  What's not to love about an activity that allows you to spend several hours with great friends, whilst creating.  It just fills my spirit.
Friday night was spent sewing at my regular 6pm 'til midnight group.  Held about 90 minutes away, we get together about once every 6 weeks.
This month also coincided with Friday Night Sew In hosted by Bobbi.
So, much stitching ensued, helped along by lots of talking and a little eating.
I added top and bottom borders(no sides this time), to the Medallion quilt that I've been sewing.  Only a couple of borders left to sew and it'll be finished.   I don't think I've sewn a quilt this quickly before (which really isn't that quickly !).  I'm  enjoying this pattern, and the no-buy rule that comes with it.
A great way to spend a Friday night.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Part 5 finished...

I finally finished Part 5 of the Medallion Quilt.

There's a lot to be said for school holidays and taking time off work. This week  I've finished the round of the Medallion, cut out the remaining 70 hexagons for the Anna quilt border and picked up the embroidered panel from Urban Stitches with Leanne Beasley.
Feels very good to have some fabric in my hands and actually finish a step in just a short while, rather than taking 3 weeks and losing momentum.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So, what to do all afternoon when the footy is on?
I finished the blocks for the next round of my Medallion.  In true Bonnie Hunter  style, I stitched again, just inside the diagonal stitching to give "bonus triangles".  In this way, when I trim the excess off the corners, I automatically get free triangles to use in "something", rather than just throw them away. 
Makes me feel very virtuous!  LOL.
These will give a zig-zag border when stitched together.
Then,just to fill in some time, I finished basteing some hexagons I need for my Anna quilt. 
That's 110 hexies, only 70 more to go!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

GO CATS.....

Collingwood      4.2   9.3  12.6  12.9   (81)    
Geelong              4.3   8.6  13.7  18.11   (119)

We killed 'em.
Nothing more to say.

Grand Final.

Today is the Australian Football League Grand Final , between Collingwood and GEELONG.
As a native from Geelong , I feel I must keep flying the colours!  LOL.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oh, the weather!

Oh how quickly things can change.  Last week was gorgeous warm Spring weather. Perfect to be out in the garden in t-shirt and  3/4 length pants.  If I say the last couple of days have been perfect quilting weather, you'll know what I mean.  It's been freezing cold and raining, yesterday was a great show from nature- thunder and lightning like I haven't seen for some years, and the heaviest September downpour since 1916 or something like that!  We had 48 ml in our raingauge in about 12 hours here.
I have a couple (or more!) projects on the go here.  I finished the border edge on my Anna quilt by Karen Cunningham.
The outer blue triangles are all cut and pieced separately, I really didn't think that it was all going to be the right measurement.  I shouldn't have doubted, it fit perfectly!
I've also started a quilt called Mrs Billings Coverlet.  Sigh.  It really called my name!
Anyway, I've also been working on the centre of the medallion.
Those hexies are 5/8" each and the diamond shapes are just tiny.  I do love the pattern though.  You won't believe how long I agonised over the placement of those outer 4 corners.  I measured about a million times to make sure they were correct before I cut them.  They were supposed to flow around the corners, all in the one direction.  Oh well.  Can't believe I didn't see that they didn't until it was all stitched together!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spring, lovely Spring...

I love Spring.  After the dreariness of winter, a little bit of sun's warmth feels good.  It's nice to get out into the garden, or just open all the windows and let the sunshine in.
Today is a wonderful Spring day, 21 C , warm breeze, just gorgeous.
I opened my sewing room windows today and had a lovely time just stitching in the quietness.  Finished the next step of the Medallion Quilt, I'm liking how it looks.
The pattern used a new (to me) method of flying geese construction.  I usually cut rectangles of fabric and  stitch squares of background to each corner diagonally, then trim and flip the background back..  This method used 1 large square, with 4 smaller background squares and produced 4 geese per block.  (I hope that's clear!)  I must say that although the new method is a bit quicker, I lost a lot of my points so I don't think I'll bother with it again.
I'm still enjoying the challenge of only using fabrics from my stash.  As the quilt gets bigger, it's getting harder to find pieces big enough for the sashing.  I don't, as a rule, have large pieces.  I find myself buying smaller pieces now.  Fat 1/8ths and 1/16ths.  Maybe because I do a lot more applique now.
Anyway, I'm still having fun with this project.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Great Day ....

was had today.
I had the pleasure of a stitching day with Annette ,Jean, and Rosie.We all attended Urban Stitches with Leanne Beasley, Melanie Hurlston, and Rosalie Quinlan.
The day was spent at the Novatel in Glen Waverley, they excelled themselves, let me tell you!  The room was spacious and well lit (if a little warm at times), the food was fantastic- plenty of it and good variety catering to all needs and tastes.
Our projects for the day.
Our goodie bag contained many treasures- a charm pack, some fat quarters, and all three projects fully kitted and ready to start.  Nothing to buy.  (Well, theoretically anyway!)
I decided to start with Leanne Beasley's project.
Some easy stitching, and a little applique to start the day.

I have these 3 lovely projects to carry on with.  Two Eastern European style stitched Baltimore blocks, and a lovely stitch wallet to hold sewing needs.

Oh lovely lunch.....

All ready to start the day , and some luscious Cosmo Threads.
Ahhhh, what a day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

FNSI and a found pattern.

Once again, last night was the  monthly Friday Night Sew In..  I really like the fact that I can give myself "permission" to sit and sew for a whole night with minimal interruptions and not feel guilty!   Silly, I know.
Well, I found my Anna quilt pattern after much searching.  Isn't it frustrating when you know it's there, just not sure where?
So, onto the borders for the quilt.  Firstly, tracing, cutting and sewing the triangles together filled the night. 
Pinning, pinning, so much pinning......
Hmmm, might be a good time for the glue baste so I don't stick myself a million times whilst appliqueing.
Only a million more hexagons and it's finished!