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, 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,

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Some Nearly Finishes!

I feel like its ages since I actually completed a project (I feel I am the world's slowest quilter) but I have been working on four long-ish term projects that I want to finish for Christmas and they're all kind of coming together in a rush!

One was the Craftsy BOM which I shared a photo of recently:

No further progress on that one yet but I hope to get onto piecing the back next Wednesday and then get it sandwiched ready for quilting.

This week I decided I have finished quilting my Black, Red & White Quilt. I say 'decided' because I had thought I might quilt in each of the sashing rows and columns but when I sat down to do it, I changed my mind and decided it could stay as it was.

It still has loads of pins in it and I haven't hidden all the threads or bound it yet but here it is:

I took some closer up shots of some of the blocks to try and pick up the quilting:

Bit hard to see so took some shots of the back as well:

All in all I enjoyed trying to find the right quilting for each block but I think I might try an all over quilting pattern on the Craftsy BOM quilt, perhaps similar to the pattern above. Haven't done that before so why not?!

I've also been hand embroidering a little wallhanging for my mother-in-law for Christmas. I originally got the idea from another blog, Samelia's Mum here and with her permission I decided to make one for my own lovely MIL, Betty. Its lovely wording!  I finished the embroidered text a few weeks ago but was pondering exactly what border to use and this is what I ended up with:

The photo is a bit dark but when I saw this fabric I thought it was a rosebud and thought 'Perfect' as she loves roses - turns out its a camelia (oops!). Still I think she'll like it. I'm going to repeat the pink in the binding just to frame the whole thing.  Mum will be getting this for Christmas!

I have another big finish and I'll share that in another blog but here's a teaser from a post quite a few months back!

Thanks for reading my blog today!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Block Swap Block (Well Blocks Really) Received

Back in July I was matched up with Encarna in Spain as my partner and although she did let me know that my block had been mailed, I had given up on it as it never arrived.  I assumed that perhaps the mail service in Spain is not all it could be, but perhaps I'm being a bit hard on all the Spanish postal workers!

To my surprise today I received an unexpected squishy surprise, two blocks from Encarna!  I couldn't quite read the postmark so not sure when they were sent but they are certainly worth the wait.

First this lovely aqua teamed with a sort of orangey/red:

and this gorgeous yellow and black one.  I really love that swirly yellow fabric in the star.

All up now I have seven.  Might need to ask for perhaps red, orange, pink or yellow background colours on the next few blocks I think!

Loving all the different bright colours.  Its fun to see what different people do with the same block don't you think?!

Thanks for reading my blog today,


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Fabric Storage System and Project to Do List

Well, today I decided that after having fabric just generally piled up in my lounge room for several weeks (yes I am the world's worst housekeeper!) I would get off my backside and have a re-shuffle of my fabric storage system.

Doesn't that sound fancy?  Don't get too excited, my fabric storage system is currently 4 small plastic tubs, a fat quarter bag and a couple of interesting boxes. It just sounds much more sophisticated when you give it a flashy name!

Anyway I took everything out and then sorted it into colours and re-packed it all and what do you know, it all fit back in! Do you know what that means?  Due to space limitations I can only buy fabric if I have somewhere to store it and I was pretty sure after my last online splurge a couple of months back that I had over-reached my maximum capacity.

Seeing I fit it all back in I think that means I can buy some more in November when I go to (a) Quilt and Craft Fair and (b) away for my 50th birthday to Aldinga Beach.  Seriously,  there is a disproportionate number of quilt shops in the Aldinga Beach/McLaren Vale area and I mean to visit them all - look out here I come!  I wonder if there's a link between all these quilting stores and the fact that McLarenVale is a great wine district?  Hmmmmm, better do some research on that while I'm there!

While I was sorting my lovely fabric fibres I had a couple that I knew I had bought for specific projects and I don't want to put them away and have them slip from my memory (hey I'm turning 50 next month - it could happen!).  So I foolishly decided to make a list of projects I have in the back of mind to do over the next year or so.  Now I'm not so sure that was such a good idea as its a scarily long list.

In the interests of accountability I figure if I list it here I may just have to keep on top of it and try not to add anything to it (wishful thinking but we'll give it a whirl!) so here it is!

Project 'To Do' List

  1. Finish binding on wildflower wallhanging - to send to Canada for Christmas - too late for the sea mail - rats!
  2. Red, Black & White swap block quilt - finish quilting and bind - another Christmas pressie - this seriously needs a new name - anyone got any suggestions?
  3. Craftsy BOM quilt - sandwich, quilt & bind - yet another Christmas pressie!
  4. Wallhanging for mother-in-law - piece border, sandwich, quilt & bind - and yes, another Christmas pressie - eeek!
  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?
 Far out - 22 items! Holy cow, now its written down its a bit scary!  Better get cracking I guess!
How many projects are on your 'To Do' list?

Hope you've enjoyed my fabric photos in this post - these have all been added to my stash this year! (Don't show this to my hubby - its on a need to know basis and he doesn't need to know - or he'll be out buying more finches for his aviary!).

Thanks for reading my blog today!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Craftsy Quilt Top Finished!

Woohoo! Got to be a record for me, I finished the last two blocks on the Sunday and had the quilt top sashed and put together by Wednesday. Now it will sit there quietly until I finish quilting my Red, Black and White quilt (I really have to come up with a better name for that quilt - any suggestions?).

What, oh you want to see a photo? Oh, okay here it is:

I know, its a terrible photo but I had an unenthusiastic victim volunteer, and it was blowing a gale! That meant he had to stand under the pergola to get out of the wind but that meant the light was a funny colour coming through the roof. Still you get the general idea!

This one's a little clearer at least and has a lovely set of feet showing too!

Anyhoo, this will be a gift for my husband's granddaughter (those are his feet by the way) for Christmas so hence my need to finish sooner rather than wait until the tutorials were finished. I'll still be lucky if I get this quilted by Christmas but fingers crossed. I'm nearly there with the Black, Red & White one and that's only taken me a month or so, which is supersonic speed for me! I do have two weeks off in November but as my trusty other half will be off too you just know I'm not going to get as much done as I'd like to!

Ok one more snap for good measure, you'll notice his technique was getting a bit sloppy by this time - no staying power, he'd be a terrible quilter!

Hope to share another Christmas project soon, I have the label handstitched and just need to hand sew the binding and clip threads. This one's going to Canada but I have missed the sea mail cut off so looks like I'm paying the big bucks to send that one to get there before Christmas! I dread to think what that will cost!

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Quilt Block Swap & Craftsy Blocks for October

Well in my usual bloggy slackness it has been a while since I blogged but I'm here at last!

The early part of each month always sees me making blocks for Quilting Block Swap Australia and this month I was partnered with Brenda from Ohio USA who asked for a Storm at Sea block in blues and browns.  I haven't made one of these before and so I printed the pattern from Quilterscache and the next day when sitting down to cut out my fabrics discovered I needed another page which would show me how to draft the templates I would need for the edge diamonds.  Goes to show I should have read the pattern when I printed it doesn't it?!

So, Take 2, after making the templates I got stitching and although I then had to unpick the side diamonds as I wasn't sure how to line up the triangular parts when sewing and of course I didn't get it right the first time, it all turned out alright in the end. And now I know where to line them up for the next time.  I've mailed the block today so I hope Brenda likes it!  Here is how it turned out:

Do you like the brown fabrics? I must say its not a colour I have in my stash so it was fortuitous (there's a word I don't get to use much) that I received a nice little surprise parcel recently which just so happened to include these two fabrics. I'm in a group on Facebook called Rainbow Charm Squares & More which is mostly about charm swaps and a lovely group it is! When a recent batch of charms was returned our Swap Mumma, Sally included my surprise parcel, wasn't that a lovely thing?  I would have been stuck without it!

Sue B, who organises the QBSA asked for volunteers to be Angels for the group and I was happy to help out.  The Angels help by making a block for members who for whatever reason (having a difficult patch, illness, injury etc) have had to drop out of swaps for a little while.  I have made two this month:

I'm not mentioning who they went to but thought I would just share them here.

I also have knocked over the last two Craftsy BOM blocks. This month they were all about paper piecing and aside from the first one being larger than it should have been (obviously some sort of technical hitch in the works there), all went smoothly.

The first is the Friendship Circle:

Block 2 was Circle of Geese:

I like this one! I saw this one earlier in the year and I had a strong suspicion we were going to do this one (I think there may have been a hint given early on!).

So these are all my blocks together. The photo is not the best as my hallway is the only piece of empty floor large enough to lay them out all together!

I worked my butt off yesterday and managed to get them all sashed and the top is now finished. Yay me! Only problem was we had a dramatic change in weather part way through the day and its been pretty miserable since (and cold, did I mention cold?), so no photo to share yet.  I think it might have to wait until the weekend when I can get a victim volunteer to hold it up outside for me!  I can hint though that I used the purple fabric on the right to sash it and I used green for cornerstones, so you get the idea.  So now its ready to get sandwiched and quilted, hopefully in time for Christmas!  I'm still quilting the Red, Black & White quilt so this one is next in the queue.

Anyhow, that's enough out of me for the moment! I think I might head off to bed to try and warm up my hands and toes.  This sudden cold snap is very odd for October.  We even had snow on Mt Lofty (a not very lofty mountain compared to many in other places but the best we have!) for the first time in October in 100 years.  We don't get snow on Mt Lofty in a normal winter, let along in Spring! That is definitely a cold snap.

Thanks for reading my blog today,