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 April 2012

Competition on Facebook

There is a competition currently running on Facebook with FabricDirect.com.au and I have entered two of my quilts. What can I say, who doesn't want the chance to win a whole lot of fabric!?  Also its nice that its an Australian company too!

If you are interested and able to vote for my quilts, I would appreciate it.  You can vote every 24 hours too so please try and come back as often as you can to vote. The process is that you 'Like' their Facebook page and you might need to agree to 'Offerpop' if you haven't already. Then you can view the entrants and vote for the ones you like. This is the Facebook page you need.

Anyway these are the two I've entered:

Thanks for stopping by today and thank you also if you go and vote. I appreciate your help! The more fabric I have, the more I can do - at least that's my theory and I'm sticking with it!

Sue xx

Friday, 27 April 2012

Mug Rug Swap - Quilting Mumma

I recently signed up to take part in my first mug rug swap on Quilting Mumma's blog and was paired up with Kathy in NSW.  I'm hoping Kathy has received my parcel by now.

I haven't made a mug rug before so found it hard to decide what I would do. I knew that Kathy liked bright colours (sounds like me there!) so I had a bit of a dig around and came up with this:

and this is the back!

I thought she might like to try it out so I popped a couple of little surprises in with the mug rug:

I wasn't sure if she liked tea or coffee so popped a sachet of each in for good measure!

Looking forward to seeing what Kathy sends me!

Oh and by the way I'm having another crack at a quilt competition over at Quilting Gallery. This time its for wallhangings and I've entered my quilt 'Waratah Wonder':

If you would like to cast a vote for my quilt (or any of the lovely wallhangings there), you can do it here!

Thanks for stopping by!
Sue xxx

Monday, 23 April 2012

My Little Helpers!

Thought I'd share a photo of my new little helpers who have been holding my binding in place while I hand stitch it down. Aren't they cute little people?

My boss got them (and a great magnetic oval doodad which is great for holding my pins!) when he presented at a WorkCover conference last year and he gave them to me. I hadn't thought of a use for them until I was looking for my clips to hold the binding down and saw them sitting there and thought 'Aha!'. They're great too, they actually hold the binding flatter than the other type of clip. I only wish I had more of them!  Here's a photo of one up close and personal:

And here's a photo of my lovely old dog, Molly, very intently eyeing off a fly which had been bothering us all day!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sue xxx

Friday, 20 April 2012

Quilting Block Swap for April

My Quilting Block Swap Australia swap partner for April was Shirley in USA.  Shirley had requested an owl block in primary colours. I had a lovely time hunting for just the right owl and then raiding the stash for some primary colours.

I'm so happy with the way this little owl turned out and judging from Shirley's email today so was she! So time to share a photo:

I do hope my little owl enjoys living in the USA!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sue xxx

When does a quilt become a quilt?

I was happily handstitching down the binding around a quilt last night when I began to wonder when a quilt actually becomes a quilt. I know it sounds a little weird but I feel that I've noticed the process of change more on this project I think because the quilt top wasn't made by me. I was given a quilt top last year by my lovely mother-in-law Betty who asked me to quilt it for her. It was a quilt top which had been donated at some point (we believe perhaps from a deceased estate) to the Salvation Army. Now my mother-in-law (who will be 80 this year but sometimes you wouldn't know!) is a woman who likes to keep busy and so uses fabric donated to the Salvation Army to sew bags for the Salvos to use when distributing care packages when people come in looking for help. So a good use for fabric you would say! On this occasion however she was given the quilt top as well with the suggestion that she should cut it up and use it for bags. Clearly whoever gave it to her was not a quilter! Luckily while Mum is not a quilter, one of her daughters Kerrie and myself are so she knew better! Anyway, the upshot of it was that she wanted to have it finished off so she asked me to do it for her.

This is the first time I have worked on a quilt top which I haven't made myself so I guess I was looking at it with fresh eyes. It is a lovely scrappy top which I didn't fully appreciate at first.  When I was pressing it before I started on making the quilt sandwich I noticed for the first time how messy the back was with lots of fraying cotton and when you're pressing a top you discover all the seams that should have laid one way but got caught and end up in the wrong place!

When I actually laid it out and started pinning the sandwich together I was 'nose to nose' with it, so to speak and really started to appreciate the thought that had gone into the placement of colours together and the fussy cutting of fabric to make the blocks. After I took the photo above I realised that the colour placement in different blocks really changed the look of the blocks and even though they're all the same, some look completely different.  The fabrics seem to be a mix of clothing and quilting fabrics and while I was pinning I found myself thinking about the maker and whose the clothes might have been. Did she use scraps from her family's clothing, or perhaps she would buy old clothes from the Salvation Army to cut up and re-use this way? Its fairly certain we'll never know but it is nice to know that her quilt is eventually getting finished and will be used one day!

Anyway this was the point at which I had to start thinking about how I would tackle the quilting as usually while I'm finishing a top I'm thinking about the quilting stage! When I took it off the table and brought it back inside (I sandwich quilts outside on a picnic table!) I said to my husband, "Its turning into a quilt now, it looks completely different!" And it did. The simple act of being sandwiched had changed the look of the top already.

Then I machine quilted a grid around the pieced blocks to hold everything together before starting on the free motion quilting. This is the first time I have quilted a whole quilt using free motion and you can tell when you see some of the star blocks up close but I was pretty happy with the stippling part. It was the outlining of the stars that was a bit wonky but you have to start somewhere!

Then my problem became what next? What pattern to do in the long cream zig-zaggy strips? I had in my head that I would feather them but I wasn't really convinced and then when I looked at them again I realised they were a bit narrow for what I was thinking.  In the end after putting it aside for a week or two my inspiration kicked in and I decided to echo a 3/4" line down either side and then quilt inside the lines using a combination of loops and leaves and straight away I fell in love with the look of it!

At this point I felt the quilt had transformed again closer into becoming a quilt and everytime I looked at it I liked it more!  Once I finished it I realised that I had inadvertently created a different look for the quilt which was something I have often seen on other people's quilts but hadn't yet had the opportunity to try for myself. So pretty happy so far!

Then I had to decide on the binding colour and eventually chose a plain pink which seems to tie in nicely with both the top and the backing. Now with the binding sewn on the front and only the hand finishing of it to go I still feel its not quite a quilt but its close! The label is on and the binding needs three sides to finish, the loose threads all need to be pulled through and it needs a wash but its nearly there. 

I'm giving it back to Mum on Mother's Day and I'm sure she'll get a surprise because I've had it for quite a while now and she's probably forgotten about it (she can do that! Which I think is funny because its been occupying my mind for months and she will have totally forgotten she gave it to me!).

Anyway, its close to being a quilt but not quite! I'll post a photo once it is officially a quilt!

If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me through my rambling on!

Sue xxx

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Thanks for voting for me!

A quick post to say thank you to all of those people who voted for my Dresden Wedding quilt in last week's Quilting Gallery competition.  Unfortunately I didn't win but came in 10th out of 28. There were some really beautiful quilts in the competition and the winner was gorgeous.

If you would like to see the results if you go here and scroll down you will see which quilt finished where.

If you haven't visited the Quilting Gallery website before, its worth a look around. There's lots of goodies on there!

Thanks again for voting.

Sue xxx

Friday, 13 April 2012

Vote for me Please! Quilting Gallery Competition - Delightful Dresdens

Just a short post to ask you nicely if you would consider voting for my quilt 'Dresden Wedding' which I have entered in the weekly Quilting Gallery competition this week.

If you go Here you can see all the quilts entered and vote for the ones you like the best. I can win a lovely collection of fat quarters, wouldn't that be great!

The voting is open from now until midnight Sunday so please check it out and vote for my quilt if you like it!

Thanks! I appreciate your time!


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Craftsy BOM for April

Well English paper piecing this month!  I have to say I was a bit unsure about this month but happy to learn the technique as its not one I had gotten around to yet.  On the whole though I did quite enjoy making the hexagons but wasn't so fussed about the whole joining together thing.  I chose to machine applique them as I am happier with the overall look. Still glad to have finally found a use for a set of hexagonal templates I got free with a magazine subscription quite a few years ago!

Anyway here are my April blocks:

As you can see I decided to do my own thing for the second block as I didn't think a sun and its rays suited my fabrics. I went for a sort of snowflake kind of thing!

Here are what I have so far:

Happy with the way things are going so far so interesting to see what the next ones are!

A post or two ago I also posted a photo of my star blocks and yesterday I finally had a moment or two to lay them out with some sashing fabric (I took a break to unkink after doing just a little too much free motion quilting at once!).  A cup of coffee and a short play with fabric and this is what I had:

In this photo you can see I had a piece of fabric layed out on the left with a vague idea of adding a large outside border but have now decided its unnecessary and just plain wrong! I'm loving the blue as a sashing as I really wanted a blue and yellow quilt when I started (my favourites) and I really do love this blue fabric. So I'm thinking 2" sashings and border and binding in the same colour (if I have enough).

Then of course the hardest bit...... quilting you say? No for me its always deciding on a name!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Review of 2012 Quilting Goals

Well I think seeing we're a quarter of the way through 2012 I had better review my quilting goals for 2012 and see how I'm doing!

  1. Finish a Block of the Month quilt - I'm working on it, 3 months done and 1 to do so far!
  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 and one nearly finished quilting.
  5. Improve my free motion quilting skills - The quilt I'm currently doing is almost all free motion so working on this one!
  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 started on my hand sewn ME project and ended up making another one which is my Star Block quilt. Have the blocks just need to join them together!
  8. Organise all my projects into some sort of system, so I can keep track of them easily. Have set up a folder system so I guess this one is done!
  9. Use up more of my stash fabrics -  For the record, I have 3 plastic tubs and one fat quarter bag at this point! I do have an extra tub now but its full of scraps from all the blocks I've been making so it will go towards No. 3! Have only bought more white fabric I think!
  10. Try to speed up my completion of projects. I think I'm doing better, I've been sewing nearly every Wednesday but last 2 weeks have had appointments. Still managed to fit some sewing in though!
11.  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!

12.  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. - Completed and working like a charm, roomy enough for extra items purchased or my sneakers to change into for walking home!

Hey, I don't think that's too bad! Way to go me! Off to a good start, just have to keep at it now!

I realised I hadn't put a photo up of my two lovely boys so here they are, Simon on the left and Kieran on the right:

A little hairy but lovely all the same!

Thanks for dropping by!