Welcome to my blog about my quilting journey! I started quilting in 2006 with a quilt of my own design which started as a cushion cover and ended up as a single bed sized quilt! Now I'm totally hooked....maybe obsessed is a better word for it.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

End of Year Progress Report

A few months back I reviewed my goals for 2012 and was making good progress.  Then I made up a list of projects I wanted to do:
  1. Finish binding on wildflower wallhanging - to send to Canada for Christmas - Done - received and happy campers all round!
  2. Red, Black & White swap block quilt - finish quilting and bind - another Christmas pressie - this seriously needs a new name - anyone got any suggestions?  Named 'Red All About It', finished, gifted, loved it!
  3. Craftsy BOM quilt - sandwich, quilt & bind - yet another Christmas pressie! Finished, gifted, another happy camper!
  4. Wallhanging for mother-in-law - piece border, sandwich, quilt & bind - and yes, another Christmas pressie - eeek!  Finished, gifted, loved it!
  5. Native floral table runner - maybe to send overseas(?) 
  6. Native wildflower quilt - finish quilting and bind - not necessarily for Christmas but it would be nice if it was done so I could shock surprise my other half by finishing it! 
  7. Star Quilt - sandwich, quilt, bind and use! (This quilt is for me - the first one I've made especially for me so I want it done before next winter!)
  8. Continue piecing hand stitched blue Cathedral Ceiling quilt - long term project for our room - no rush on this one!
  9. Pillow for Kieran using leftover Chinese symbol to go with his dragon quilt.
  10. Pillow for Simon using penguin fabric I bought online too long ago.
  11. Doggy quilts for Molly before old blanket falls apart.
  12. Bag each for Kerry and Sue - preferably for Christmas this year but unlikely so maybe for next year!
  13. Crumb Quilt from tiny scraps -maybe on sewing retreat in March?
  14. Rainbow string blocks -maybe on sewing retreat in March?
  15. Rainbow quilt with rainbow charms from Quilt Club Australia charm swap - by end of March?
  16. Baby quilt using Peter Rabbit squares - just because they're there and need using. Donate somewhere?
  17. Quilt for Auntie Betty - tube quilt?
  18. Mariner's Compass quilt using ruler set bought in 2011!
  19. Shadow Trapunto Quilt from Geta Grama's book
  20. Scrap quilt using charms from swaps and my scrap squares
  21. I Spy quilt
  22. Christmas Charms - project to use them on - placemats?
Okay, so clearly I've been sitting around doing nothing for months! I guess I have my to do list for 2013 then!

Maybe I should look back and see exactly what I have been doing all year, I mean I must have been doing something, right?

Well first there's Quilting Block Swap Australia - I've made 14 (I think!) blocks for the monthly swaps and 3 (again I think!) Swap Angel blocks. Here's one of my favourites of the ones I made this year:

Finally finished this dragon quilt for Kieran - I really love this quilt!

I made my first bag on my first sewing retreat:

Joined a mug rug swap (another first!) and made this for Kathy:

I learned to free motion quilt and quilted this for my mother-in-law:

Made this for my friend's mum who is battling cancer:

Made two of these for gifts:

 Made this star quilt for me - the first I've made for myself - naturally its not finished yet! I will definitely be quilting this soon!

I turned 50! Had a fabulous fiftieth getaway to celebrate - loved it!

Made this for my mother-in-law for Christmas:

Started and finished the Craftsy BOM - woohoo!

Made this for my step-daughter and her hubby in Canada - they apparently love it!

Finished my first QBSA quilt (well some of the blocks are swaps and some are mine!)

 So I guess I have been doing something after all!  Lots of firsts for me.  This would have been my most productive year since I started quilting. Another first, this is the first year I would say I have started and finished any quilt in the same year and I've done a few this year so I'm very happy with my progress!

Oh, nearly forgot! I also made bags for my sister-in-law Kerrie's ward at her hospital.  This is a few of them, I made some this size for drains for breast cancer patients and some smaller ones to hold some gadget the cardiac patients need to hang around their neck when they get out of bed.

Now just have to keep the momentum going and see how much I accomplish next year - bring on 2013!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Phew! Glad Christmas is Done!

Well I don't know about you but I feel like the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, trying to do the present shopping, finishing some projects for gifts, organise the food for Christmas lunch at our house, etc etc! Now its done and I have two weeks off, I'm really hoping to relax a bit and do some sewing that I want to do.  I do have one job to finish and that's some little curtains for an aunty but as she's away until the end of January I have a bit of time for those.

Now I don't think I've posted the final photos of my last project for Christmas, my black red and white quilt. I finally decided to call it 'Red All About It'. Black, white and red kept sending my mind to the old joke, "What's black, white and red all over? - a Newspaper!".  Newspaper didn't seem like much of a name so in a play on words I changed Read all about it to 'Red All About It'!  I have to say I find naming my quilts harder than making them, what about you?

Anyway, here is a photo - the quilt will be going to my step-daughter Angela and her husband Erik but we won't see them until Saturday.  I hope they like it!

This quilt is made up of both blocks which I made and also blocks made for me by my swap partners in the Quilting Block Swap Australia group. I joined in January and started with any block in black, red and white.

Thanks to all my lovely swap partners. I love how it turned out! You can read more about which ones are from who here.

 I quilted it in a variegated black and white thread after having no end of trouble with some all black thread which insisted on breaking all the time. I tried a different brand in the variegated and that was a lot better. I would have preferred black, white and red variegated but unfortunately couldn't get any so had to make do.

This is the back. It looks a little washed out in this photo but the striped fabric is much brighter than it appears in this photo.  

I think this is my favourite block of the ones that I made. I think a quilt of these in all different colours would be great. Perhaps rainbow colours on white or even black? Hmmm, something to think about there!

Hope you had a lovely Christmas and will also now get some time for sewing too!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Monday, 17 December 2012

A Couple of Christmas Finishes!

Well its been a crazy month and I have been busy trying to finish projects and other things and have sadly neglected my blogging and I apologise!  I had several items I wanted to give at Christmas and I'm happy to say that I have finished 3 out of 4 and the last one is nearly there - just pulling all those dratted threads through and then a wash and that one will be done too!

The first one 'A Bunch of Aussies' I posted about here but I realised I took the photos before I pulled through all the threads (so glad to be finished I think!) so this photo is a little better.  Its been mailed to Canada and I'm waiting to hear its arrived.

Then I finished a small project for my mother-in-law Betty.  I'm really happy with the way this turned out and I hope she likes it too!

What quilt would be complete without a label?

My other big finish is my Craftsy BOM - Yay! I managed to get stuck into the quilting and got it all done in record time (for me)! Ta da - Sampler for Serena!

Sorry the photo is a bit fuzzy. It was quite windy and nearly impossible to get a still shot!

I tried a new (again for me) all machine stitched binding and I have to say I will definitely be doing that again. So much faster than the traditional method.  Here are some close ups of some of the blocks to show (off) the quilting!

And, of course, the label.  You can see the fancy stitch I used to finish the binding.

I'm really happy with how this one turned out.  Now to finish pulling those threads through and then I can get some photos of my last finish for Christmas!

Thanks for reading my blog,

Monday, 26 November 2012

Turning 50 - Tick!

Well aside from being a lazy little blogger and not blogging for way too long, I have been busy in other ways!  I'm motoring along in 'hurry up and finish - Christmas is coming!' mode and working on quilting my last project before Christmas, which is the Craftsy BOM.

Nearly finished, with only 3 blocks to quilt and the sashing. Then its on with the binding and a label and done.  My Red, Black & White quilt is waiting for the binding to be hand stitched down, as is the wallhanging for my mother-in-law.  No photos till they're all done though!

Hmmm, what else have I been up to?  Quilting Block Swap for November was sent and received.  I was paired up with Elizabeth in Victoria and I sent her this block:

 Elizabeth sent me this lovely block:

 I'm getting quite a few of these stars now, so thought I'd put them all together to see what colours I need more of.  Here they all are:

 I'm thinking some more green but perhaps in the stars rather than the backgrounds and some red or yellow in the background rather than the stars. Perhaps some more orange? What do you think?

Then on the 15th of November I turned 50.

I am really not a party person so decided to spend a couple of days away with my darling hubby Brian at a lovely holiday house on the beach at Aldinga.

We celebrated the big day spending the day wandering around the wineries of McLaren Vale, tasting here and there and then lunched at Tapestry Wines, having one of their lovely platters (which I forgot to take a photo of!) sitting out on the deck looking out over the valley:
Its a tough life but someone has to do it!

Then out for dinner that night. The following day started with a walk along the beach:
Nobody in either direction!  Hard to believe we're an hour from Adelaide isn't it? (It does get a little busier on weekends though!)

Then we were joined by four of our close friends, Kerry & Chris, Sue & Gary, and my brother Kym and his partner Aggie.  My brother just happens to have his birthday on the same day as me, except he is 8 years older.

We breakfasted on the balcony every morning (rough life I know!) and generally chilled out. The boys (and Sue) tried their hand at fishing without success, Kerry and I succeeded at visiting the craft fair in the local church and we walked along the beach. Then we took everyone out for dinner on Saturday night to the Victory Hotel at Sellicks Beach, which had views of the sunset out one window and views looking back down the coast and the city lights in the other direction, just lovely!

The weekend was exactly how I wanted it to be - very relaxed and laid back, time spent with good friends.
A memorable way to spend my 50th!

When we got home we were very surprised to see this guy at our local park.

We have lived in our neighbourhood for 28 years and have never seen a koala in the area so we were very surprised to see this guy up a relatively small gum tree near a major road next to the local football oval.  We weren't the only ones as he had his photo taken by quite a few people that day!  There are plenty of koalas in the Adelaide Hills but we are only about 10kms from the city here and about the same distance from the hills.  Fingers crossed he stays safe and heads away from the road!

Well that was a bit of an epic blog but knowing me, I won't blog again for a while so thought I might as well get it all out of my system! Next blog post will hopefully be to say all my Christmas pressies are done and I am sitting about with my feet up relaxing (as if!).

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Craftsy BOM Sandwiched and Squishy Mail!

Had one of those productive days today! I like those, don't seem to have enough of them.

My goal for today was to sandwich my Craftsy BOM quilt top ready for quilting.  As the weather remained disappointingly dry I was able to get outside and try out my new folding trestle table as an addition to our picnic table.  It worked like a charm as it turned out to be almost exactly the same height whereas the other trestle table I usually use is taller is a bit of a pain to set up!

So this little baby was stretched, clamped, taped and pinned.

Then I went on to get my little wallhanging sandwiched AND quilted today - I even impressed myself!  Okay, granted its a very small wallhanging but its done! Yay!  Just need to bind it and tidy up the threads and then I'll share a photo.

I had been anxiously awaiting the postie today, eagerly awaiting my I Spy Charms and Mixed Charms from my last two swaps from the Rainbow Charm Square & More Swaps Facebook Group.  Frustrating to see all the ladies in other States get theirs, not sure why it takes so much longer to get to SA from NSW than it does to Victoria, but it seems to.  Anyway disappointingly they didn't arrive today but I did get a nice squishy envelope from Brenda in Ohio USA.  Brenda was my swap partner for October in Quilting Block Swaps Australia and she sent me this lovely blue and yellow Hunters Star:

Brenda asked for a Storm at Sea block in cream, blue and brown and this is what I sent her:

All in all, a good day.  Even had a nice roast lamb for tea, yum! Fingers crossed that my I Spy goodies will arrive tomorrow.

Thanks for reading my blog today,


Friday, 26 October 2012

A Bunch of Aussies!

Well, that's the name I came up with for this project!  A while back I made a wall hanging at a workshop given by Heather Ridley and she named the project Sheer Magic Mosaic (check out my blog post here for photo of that quilt) using Australian native floral fabric as a feature on a mosaic background.  I loved how it turned out and so did my step-daughter, Kymberley.  Now the lovely Kymberley is married to Scott, who is Canadian (and we didn't hold that against him, hehehehe!) after meeting in Ireland while travelling.  Around 6 months ago they moved to Canada and Kymberley said she would love something similar to hang on her wall to have a little bit of Australia in Canada.

Happy to help, my only problem was that the fabric I used was naturally out of stock everywhere, very frustrating as it was lovely too.  Never mind, luckily a second series of fabrics in the same range (Under the Australian Sun II) came out and I used one of those.

To start I need to make my mosaic background and luckily I quite a few leftover squares from the first one and only had to add in a few more. These are fused onto black background and appliqued with fancy stitch (or in my case a not so fancy stitch as I have an old machine!)  Ta da!  This is what you get:

A nice way to practice a bit of free motion, you then stitch some designs onto the coloured squares to add a bit of interest and show through behind the flowers.

Then the really fun bit, apply fusible web to some wildflower fabric and then fussy cut.  Now when I made mine the flowers were larger and easier to cut out.  These were much smaller and needed lots more cutting but this is what I ended up with:

Quite a good selection really.  Then it was a matter of playing around with placement until I was happy with the layout and then I peeled all the paper off and fused them all into one piece on top of some baking paper.

Now before these get fused to the background I cut some sheer fabrics out into leafy shapes and as a kind of shadowy background.  Unfortunately I neglected to take a photo of this stage. Lack of forward thinking there on my part!

Then you iron the flowers on top of the lot and stand back and admire your work, followed closely by the realisation that now you have to stitch it all down!  That was the time consuming bit.  Out with the lovely shiny embroidery threads and into free motion mode and away I went.  In this shot you can see some of the stitching. I really like the way the bottle brush flower came out. (please ignore the loose threads, I hadn't pulled them through at this point!). You can also see some of the stitching I did on the mosaic squares.

In these shots you can see some of the sheer fabrics used behind the flowers:

Then once the embroidery was finished, I added a peeper border, followed by a wide border and it was time to sandwich and quilt it.  Fortunately it didn't really need lots of quilting but I find the quilting after the embroidery is done really makes the larger flowers pop and appear more three dimensional.  When it was all done, this is how it turned out:

So there we are! Now to pull through all the threads and attach a hanging sleeve and it is done and ready to post to Vancouver for Christmas!  Its hard to see here but some of the sheer fabrics had a bit of sparkle to them which will sort of add to the whole Christmassy feel I hope!  The timing will be great because Kym and Scott have just moved into their own place after staying with Scott's parents for the last few months!

Now I know its unlikely that you might know Kymberley and Scott but if you do, Shhhh - Mum's the word.  Please don't tell them its coming!  I have avoided Facebook like the plague with photos of this one for that very reason so I'm looking forward to being able to share it on there soon.

Phew, that's a big project out of the way and now I can finish off the other three projects I need to do before Christmas (plus some others if I can get these done but if not, oh well, there's always next year!)

Thanks for reading my blog today,