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.

Monday, 30 January 2012

2012 - Quilting Goals

After reading quite a few blogs now that I've got one, I thought this might be a good place to write down some of the 'in the back of my head' quilting goals I have for 2012 just for the record!

I've already started a couple:

  1. Finish a Block of the Month quilt - I'm doing a BOM for the first time through Craftsy and have posted photos of my first month's blocks.
  2. Joined a Group - I joined the online Block Swap Australia group and I'm enjoying it so far!
  3. Make a scrap quilt - have some ideas, now need the time!
  4. Finish my UFO's. I have one done - a 2 year project for my son is finished and waiting to be washed before I take a photo. Now I just need my sewing machine back from being serviced and I can get cracking on the other 3 tops waiting their turn.
  5. Improve my free motion quilting skills - once my machine is back that should help as the foot pedal was a little unpredictable and is being replaced.
  6. Make a quilt for my husband's grand-daughter Serena. I'm making the BOM in nice girly colours in the hope that it might become hers and complete two projects in one!
  7. Start on my ME quilt. I have been collecting blue fabrics (no surprise there to anyone who knows me, my whole house is blue!) and have my pattern sorted, just need to start on a handmade one I want to make just for me!
  8. Organise all my projects into some sort of system, so I can keep track of them easily. Particularly the Block Swap ones. Don't want to lose track of who gave me what.
  9. Use up more of my stash fabrics - not that I have huge amounts but its no good waiting for them to multiply! For the record, I have 3 plastic tubs and one fat quarter bag at this point!
  10. Try to speed up my completion of projects. Ever since I started quilting I have been very slow to get to the end of a project. Mind you part of the problem is the lack of a sewing room where I can leave my project midway through but unless I eat one of my children that's not going to change so I need to work differently. Only trouble is the more time I sew the less time I walk and the bigger my backside gets. Perhaps I need to be able to sew on the move!
Anyway, that's my top 10 for 2012 - monumental year as I will be 50 this year so I'll review at the end of the year and see how I went!

11.  Just thought of another one! I bought a Folded 3D Mariners Compass ruler set at the 2011 Quilt Fair in Adelaide and I want to try and make a quilt with it, possibly for my brother who lives near the sea and loves sailing. Seems appropriate! So now its a top 11 but who knows it might even become a top 12 in 2012 yet!

12. Yep I knew I'd remember something else I keep meaning to try as soon as I posted so here it is. I want to make myself a tote bag to take all my stuff to work to replace the very sad and daggy looking bag I currently use.

So there we go, now I have 12 to dos in 2012!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

My Quilting Journey No 7 - Chook Run

I saw this wallhanging in an old Aust Patchwork & Quilting Yearbook (no date but around 1998) and thought it would make a great gift for a friend of mine who keeps chickens. When I say keeps chickens, its more like have chickens as pets as she has 4 daughters and they play with the chickens and dress them up and have birthday parties, etc, etc. Anyway I started it in July 2011 and got as far as ironing the appliques on to the blocks but as we were then getting all the floor coverings in the house replaced we had to pack up EVERYTHING and move it all out of the house and then back again so needless to say, it got packed away and left for a few months until things calmed down. If I made it again I would probably make the chickens a little larger as they were quite small and took a bit of skill to machine stitch around the applique shapes! It is quite a small wallhanging when its done so there's plenty of scope for enlarging the pattern. I mostly free-motioned this as a practice to work up the courage to tackle my son's Chinese Dragon quilt which I had ready to finish. I was quite happy with the way it turned out and I gave it to Kirsty for Christmas 2011. She seemed to like it! The tricky bit was finding chooky type fabrics to use. I might make another one to give to my Trees for Life landowner Andrea, who I've been growing trees for now for around 5 years. She usually gives me some lovely country eggs when she picks up her trees so I think she'd like it!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Block of the Month - Craftsy - First Blocks!

2012 must be the year of starting new things for me! I also joined the Craftsy BOM and today I made the two January blocks, an asterix and a wonky pound (although I saw it more as a hash symbol). I'm thinking I might give the finished quilt to my husband's granddaughter Serena for Christmas but that would mean I'd have to get cracking on the borders and quilting as soon as all the blocks are done in September/October and I'm so slow at getting things quilted! We'll see!  Anyway these are the first two blocks:

My First Quilting Block Swap Australia Block!

I recently joined the Quilting Block Swap Australia group and have done my first block swap with Cathy from SA.  I thought I would post a photo here as I know she has received her block now. Cathy was after a churn dash in black and white with a splash of red.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

My Quilting Journey No 6 - Waratah Wonder

This is the sixth quilt I finished although not the sixth I have made as I have two other quilt tops I started ahead of this one which still have not been quilted, although one is very close to being finished so hopefully that will be on the blog soon!

This one I did at a 2 day workshop with my sister in law Kerrie and a friend of my Jeanette. It was organised by Mawson Lakes Quilting Friends and the teacher was Heather Ridley and she named the project Sheer Magic Mosaic.  She developed this project to use up a large supply of sheer fabrics that she is given by someone in the industry and so was not something I would ever have thought of on my own!

The whole thing is appliqued, no piecing! The fabric came from leftovers I had from another project and the fabric was from the Under the Australian Sun range. It ended up being perfect for this project and now I want to do another to send over to Canada for my step-daughter Kymberley of course I can't get any more. Good news is that another range of similar fabric by the same designer will be out early in 2012 so I will definitely grab some of that!

Anyway back to this quilt. We appliqued the coloured squares onto a black background and stitched all of them down using a fancy stitch and also did some free motion designs in some of them.  This was the first time I had tried this and found I could manage leaves really easily but found rounder shapes more challenging! Now I would use contrasting colours on those square so you can see them more but at the time I was too frightened to have any mistakes show up! I also didn't have many embroidery cottons so definitely putting those on my shopping list next time!

Then once you have your pieces selected for the main bit with Heather's guidance we picked out some sheers and cut out rough shapes to go behind the main pieces to add depth. Then these were sewn down and then the feature pieces appliqued on and then freemotioned to finish off and enhance. If I had more of the feature fabric I would have tried having a flower extending out over the border so perhaps next time! I really liked doing the freemotion part so now have started to incorporate it into my quilts, with mixed success but I'm getting better all the time. Anyway here it is!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

My Quilting Journey - Part 5 - Berries and Blooms

This was a little quilt (about the size of a placemat) which I made for Betty Hutton (better known to all at Auntie Betty). She lives in a retirement village and has a little window set into her wall which at some stage would have held an old-type airconditioner and has been replaced (before she got there) with a leadlight glass pane. Only problem is that at night it lines up directly with a streetlight outside and lights up her loungeroom and bedroom! To solve that problem she had put in an old bit of cardboard so I offered to make a little quilt to fit instead. I found a nice applique pattern on the USA Better Homes & Garden website (I think that's where I found it anyway) and hand appliqued that and then attached some handstitched small blocks along each edge to make it the right size. Then I hand quilted it as well. It was a nice small project for a change. The only tricky bit was figuring out how to keep it in the window but I sewed some velcro dots to the back and then stuck the other half to the window. So far so good!

And here is a photo of the label because I remembered to take a photo of it for a change!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My Quilting Journey - Part 4 - Bells and Baubles

The pattern for this one came from AP&Q Vol 18 No. 6. A design by Joan Watter. I started the top in October/November 2009 with a loose plan to have it finished for Christmas that year but in my usual style it didn't get completely finished until January 2011. I made this a little smaller than the original because I thought it was big enough and didn't need another border. I found some cute little tree light beads at the Quilt Show and strung together other beads to make the garlands.  It finally went up on the wall this Christmas! I'm happy with the way it turned out though!

Monday, 2 January 2012

My Quilting Journey - Part 3 - Kerry's Friends Quilt

While I was working on Dresden Wedding (below), my bestie Kerry commented many times how much she liked the colours of the fabrics I was using.  As I had to have so many fabrics I had plenty of bits and pieces left over and found this fairly simple pattern in one of my Australian Patchwork & Quilting Magazines (Dec 2007).  It has large embroidered blocks with 'friends' related sayings which I thought was just perfect for a best friend. Some of them were repeated so I changed the wording on some and made sure to include some teddy bears on one because Kerry is a mad teddy bear collector! Not having done any embroidery before I had a go and found I quite enjoyed it and had all the blocks done in almost no time. I then decided that I would make the whole thing by hand as I could do it in front of the TV at nights and it seemed to come together very quickly. I don't have a sewing room and I find it difficult to get my machine out to do machine sewing so the hand sewing was easier for me at the time. Then I decided I would hand quilt it as well and did a very short workshop at the Quilt Fair on hand quilting and bought a thimble and got stuck into it.  I had a few hiccups along the way but the quilting only took me 5 months and Kerry never knew I was making it (despite the odd close call!) until I gave it to her on her birthday in 2009 (which happened to be 09/09/09!).  She promptly burst into tears, which if you know Kerry told me she loved it!  I decided then that I would definitely do more hand sewing and I have a project in mind for myself which I am going to handsew and quilt.  Anyway that's the story of Kerry's Friends Quilt!

And here is a photo of my besty Kerry and myself at her wedding!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

My Quilting Journey Part 2 - Dresden Wedding Quilt

My next quilt was to be a wedding present for my husband Brian's youngest daughter Kymberley who was engaged to Scott, a Canadian she had met when on an overseas holiday to England and Ireland.  When they got engaged they decided to get married in Northern Ireland on the anniversary of the date they met two years later but we couldn't afford to fly over to the wedding.  I decided I would make a quilt for the wedding but it took a fair bit longer than that to finish!  I found the pattern in Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol 15 No 6 and it was meant to be because I already had a set of dresden plate templates which I had bought the year before at the Quilt Fair.  Must have known I'd need them! Once I picked my design the longest part was finding 26 different fabrics to co-ordinate in my theme colours of plum and emerald green which were her colours of choice (mind you she didn't know why I wanted to know what her favourite colours were!).
I found it difficult to find plum coloured fabrics as opposed to purple but got there in the end. In my travels I ended up with a fabric which I later decided would be perfect for the border but by then I couldn't remember where I bought it from.  I then tried http://www.equilter.com/ and luckily there it was on their website - perfect.  By the time I finished quilting the quilt they had been married nearly twelve months but it did mean that they had arrived back in Australia to stay for a couple of years so at least I didn't have to post it to them.  Its hard to see but around the centre dresden plate I quilted some gum leaves for Kymberley, a maple leaf for Scott, a four leaf clover for Ireland and a loveheart with their initials and their wedding date.  Kymberley was thrilled with it as it was something of their own as they are always travelling they haven't really got any possessions of their own. Scott's Mum and Dad came to visit while they were here and they ended up taking it back to Canada for them as now they are on a long trip back to Canada via Africa, Middle East and the UK.
Anyway, here it is: