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.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Children should not be allowed to breathe on you!

Don't get me wrong I love my two boys but Kieran has a cold at the moment and he has clearly breathed on me as now I'm lucky enough to have it too! That's the kind of sharing I could do without!

Normally I'm busy quilting on Wednesdays (my day off) and I sort of was today but instead of sewing my projects I went to visit a friend, Jeanette, at Virginia who has been quilting for a long time and has made more quilts than I ever will I'm sure. Jeanette is an older lady who my husband met through his bird club (aviary type birds is what I'm talking about here!) at about the same time as I felt I just needed to start this whole quilting thing.  She's been lovely and encouraging and while we don't catch up too often due to my work and Virginia being a good distance away, its nice to have someone to have a natter to about all things quilting. She likes it as she is not computer savvy so I fill her in on all the things I find on the net and she is right up with other more traditional techniques if I need some advice.

Anyway she mentioned at one stage that she had never tried foundation piecing as she couldn't quite get her head around it and as my first quilt was all foundation pieced I offered to show her how it works.  Anyway today (despite this cold trying to stop me) I headed out to her place to give her a 'tutorial'!  She was easy to teach once she got used to the idea of forgetting about matching edges and 1/4" seams!  Now Jeanette is off to look back through her books for more blocks to try, with a plan of tackling a foundation pieced Mariner's Compass quilt she has been wanting to try for ages.  Nice to think I've been able to give her inspiration to try something new!

No photos of today as my fuzzy cold riddled head left the camera home but here's a nice photo of my gorgeous old dog Molly 'helping' hubby to hunt out our recent rat visitors in our aviary!

Well, more in a supervisory capacity I would say!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Where does the time go?

I've been meaning to post an entry here for a week and I never seem to get to it! Mind you all the giveaways happening at the Sew Mamma Sew blog this week kept me out of mischief for several evenings checking out new blogs and entering competitions. No luck though it seems! Maybe next time will be my turn.

I have managed to fit in some sewing among other commitments this week, such as work, having gas connected and a new hot water service, visiting the blood bank, helping out my hubby's elderly aunt with some home maintenance and helping hubby out with hunting out two dreaded rats from his bird aviary. Yuck! We had some very wet weather this week in Adelaide and clearly they decided our aviary was a nice dry place to be.  No longer though!

I have been trying to finish off a quilt for my best friend's Mum who is having treatment for cancer and I'm nearly there despite interruptions. The binding is on but needs turning to the back and hand stitching closed and I'm partway through making the label so not far to go now.  Just needs a wash then and it'll be done! I'll post a photo when its all finished and pretty.

For now I thought I'd share a photo of some new fabric I received last week. Its the first time I had ordered from Pink Chalk Fabrics, a site I happened upon through one of the blogs I'm following (not even sure how I got there now!). They had some lovely fabrics on sale so I couldn't resist but just a half yard of each. Not sure what they'll be used for but just had to have them, you know how it is!

From left the first two are Kate Spain Good Fortune Lantern Flower Tranquility, Valori Wells Karavan Quartz Blossom, the next four are all Carolyn Gavin starting with Soul Garden Flower Garden White, Soul Sketch Pad Pink, Soul Sketch Pad Blue and Soul Garden Butterfly Yellow.

I also had a nice little surprise parcel included with my order, perhaps because I was a new customer.

It included a voucher for 15% of my next order, a reel of Mako variegated thread, a cute little retractable tape measure and a handy laminated card with Standard Quilt Sizes on one side and a pretty quilt photo on the other. I love surprises, don't you?

Then I needed to head off to Spotlight (a discount homewares shop here in Australia) as I needed some tearaway stabiliser to use on my friend's Mum's quilt. Dragging a thrilled husband along (fairly sure he won't come again!) it happened to be Sewing Saturday so there were loads of specials and I also had a voucher for 40% off if you spent over $100. As there was 20% off wadding I decided to stock up on some bamboo/cotton wadding, and picked up these fat quarters as well to perhaps use to make some blocks to go with my Quilting Block Swap Australia blocks I'm collecting in these colours.

I also bought some polyester wadding for a new technique I want to try from a book I bought recently written by Geta Grama who is a Romanian Quilter.

Its a technique using organza and polyester wadding over solid fabric. Gorgeous quilts result! The book has loads of different sized projects and a CD containing all the printable patterns.  I originally found Geta through her blog, she does beautiful work! I just need to find some water soluble thread and I'll have all the bits and pieces I need to give this technique a go!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Back from Short Getaway

I've been on holidays this week and my husband and I took the opportunity to grab a couple of nights away in the Adelaide Hills at a place called Hahndorf. For those that don't know it, it is a town with a strong German history having originally been settled by a number of German families not long after Adelaide came into being. It has retained its original style as many of the original buildings are still standing and is a popular tourist destination. Here is a shot of the main street which has all sorts of interesting shops and restaurants.
We took our time getting up there and wandered along through Woodside, stopping at Melba's Chocolate Factory (to get something for the boys at home), Tilbrook Wines and Bird in the Hand Winery and then back into Woodside to get some yummy goodies from the bakery to soak up the wine samples! Once we got to Hahndorf of course we had to buy some bits and pieces: some beautiful smoked salmon from the lovely shop which smokes all its own products on site, some beautiful rhubarb jam from the local craft outlet, way too much cheese from Udder Delights, another bottle of wine, some cashew mustard and sun dried tomato relish, and the list goes on! Then on top of that the most amazing afternoon tea at a gorgeous flower filled shop with lovely large old wooden chairs to relax in and strawberries of course!

We stayed in a motel called The Stables which was right behind the restaurant of the same name so up a couple of steps and we were in the main street. Then we could head back to the room for a break when we needed it!

On the way home we stopped at a roadside shop in Balhannah and bought beautiful fresh apples, pears and rhubarb and a lovely rhubarb and apple pie to take home. You can see a theme developing here - wider waistlines for sure!

A short distance away was The Cedars, home of Hans Heysen, famous Australian artist and worth a tour through if you are ever in the area. Some of his most amazing paintings are still there on the walls of his home and the gardens are lovely too.

The autumn colours were lovely in the hills, although a little later this year I think.

Oddly enough I thought being on holidays this week I might get quite a bit of sewing done - wrong! I did get some of my hand sewing done while we were away but I had planned on a couple of days after we got back. It didn't quite work out that way as we are currently in the process of replacing our aging electric hot water service with a gas one and as we don't currently have gas connected it has been quite a long, drawn out process! Naturally they waited until we were away to finally get the gas mains in so then we had the plumber here all day Thursday doing his bit. 

Right I thought, onto the sewing machine after I've caught up with the washing after being away! A phone call later and I was sorting out my Trees for Life seedlings instead as my landholder happened to be in town from Gladstone and was calling to pick up her 3 boxes of trees I had grown:
After a coffee and look around at our bird aviaries, a chat to catch up on how the farm and other trees are going (I've been growing for Andrea for quite a few years now!) she was headed back up to the farm with her trees happily snuggled in the boot. For more information about the Trees for Life scheme which operates here in Adelaide have a look here. I'm sure they would welcome any donations or more growers if you are interested!

Anyway by now of course it was well past lunchtime, so a quick bite to eat and then onto the sewing machine. Well I managed to finish off the bags I was making for the cardiac unit at St Andrews and then it was time to hit the road and pick up my son from school and head to the library. Back home and then as the plumber had finished while I was gone, it was off to the shops with my other half to get the grocery shopping done, so no more sewing!

I did manage to get some done on Friday though, until my husband got back from an appointment and decided to start on making some special feed mix for his birds, which of course he couldn't possibly manage without interrupting me every 5 minutes! Every time I got into the flow of my free motion quilting, I had to stop - aaargh! Still I did manage to get quite a bit done despite his best efforts by which time it was time to go and pick up my son again. Still I persevered and did a bit more last night and hoped to get some done today but it was not to be! Maybe tomorrow..... hopefully?! 

Today wasn't a complete loss as I had to go to Spotlight and get some tear away stabliser, and while I was there they were having a 20% off special on batting, then I remembered I hadn't spent my $40 voucher so I bought a bit extra (as you do) and got the total over $100 and then I got $40 off as well as the 20% so I'm good for batting for a while!

Back to work on Monday. I think I'm ready for another week off (but this time without my husband!).

Thanks for stopping by,

Sue xxx

Couldn't resist sharing this sign on the leathergoods shop!

Monday, 7 May 2012

April Quilting Block Swap from Shirley in the USA

In April I was partnered with Shirley from St Louis in the USA for my block swap and Friday I received a lovely floral envelope containing these lovely goodies:

Shirley sent me some extra fabric and also included lots of helpful information about what fabric it was and where it came from! And here is a better look at the block:

I've decided to change my second option from any block in teal and red to a Hunter Star in bright colours. I can just see a whole quilt of these stars can't you?

Thank you Shirley for being my swap buddy for April!

Thanks for stopping by!
Sue xxx

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Quilting Block Swap for May

Sue at Quilting Block Swap Australia  was super organised this month so we got our swap partner's names early this month.  My partner, Leena from NSW, and I have already completed our swap for May.  Leena asked for a spool block in bright colours and I found two fabrics in my stash which I thought would work for the thread part but couldn't decide which one to use, so I thought I'd just make both.

This was a new block for me and I like it so I might have to make one for my quilt as well.  I'm collecting any blocks in red, black and white. This is the block which Leena sent me.  Isn't it great?!
For some reason this has shown up as a bit pink but its actually a lovely bold red.  Actually the plain red fabric in four of the blocks is almost an identical shade and the black and white fabric is also in the log cabin block, how's that for blending? Here's what I have so far:
I think they are looking great together!
The lovely Leena also sent me a surprise - a pair of sewing themed panels. I love them! I can see them on the wall in my future (long distant future!) sewing room.
Aren't they cute? And blue and yellow borders, my favourite colour combination!
Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Love my Wednesday Sewing Days!

I love Wednesdays! Its my day off so this year I have designated Wednesdays my Official Quilting Day.  Today I decided to get stuck in and do my Craftsy BOM blocks for May.  Not a huge fan of  these blocks. I'm happy with my Modern Log Cabin other than I ended up with a really narrow outer border that is going to give me headaches when I'm joining up the blocks I'm sure. I'll have to see, might have to make some modifications, perhaps trim down the second to last border and add a wider outer border.

My wonky log cabin is just wrong for the other blocks I have, way too dark. My fault for throwing in some other fabrics in the purple tones but they're way to heavy compared to the rest of my block.  I might have to redo or just not use this one!

Here they are all together, so you can see what I mean!
I started on a new project today as well. My husband's cousin is turning 60 this year and while it will be a very low key celebration, I thought I should make something for her (and also her sister-in-law who will be at the dinner and also turned 60 this year!) and I found this pattern in a recent copy of Australian Patchwork & Quilting.  I was all set to get both put together today only to find I only had enough fusible web to make one, isn't that the way?!

Anyway, this is the project in the magazine (and some of the pieces waiting to be added!)

And here it is part way to being put together:
I'll post a photo when its done (although I'm not sure about putting the circles on it, might give them a miss!).

Lastly I finally managed to take some photos of the quilt I have been quilting for my mother-in-law Betty. Its my first all free motion quilt and I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out:

Although I'm a little disappointed that one of the fabrics in the blocks ran into the cream fabric but as I didn't make the top I couldn't be sure it had all been pre-washed.  This is a close up of the quilting as well as the area on which the colour ran.

I'm toying with the idea of re-washing it to see if it will wash out if I throw in another colour catcher and perhaps some salt to set it. Its not too bad but I don't want to make it worse!

Here are a couple of my favourite blocks:

Finally, I couldn't resist sharing this photo of my lovely old girl, Molly dog (also known to many as Dingo Dog!), who doesn't seem overly impressed with the quilt!

Thanks for dropping by (and making it all the way to the very end of this epic post!),
Sue xx

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Squishy in the Mail

Ooh, lucky me! I got a squishy in the mail today!  Luckily it was safely sealed in a plastic sleeve as the poor envelope got somewhat soggy while waiting in our letterbox, otherwise it would have been squishy for another reason!  For a change we had some lovely rain in Adelaide, always a good thing as far as I'm concerned!

Anyway, the lovely Kathy from NSW sent me this gorgeous creation, tied up with a beautiful blue ribbon and some goodies to make a cup of tea to christen it:

and here is the back:

Kathy must have known my favourite colour is blue. Thank you Kathy, great job!

Sue xx