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.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Something New Sampler - Week 3!

Well, surprisingly for me I am managing to keep up with this sew along. Hopefully I can continue and finish a project with everyone else!  Has to be a first time for everything!

So for Week 3 firstly we had a Sashiko block tutorial by Jess at The Elven Garden. It was a technique I hadn't tried before, although I have done some embroidery and I tend to hand embroider my labels so I quite enjoyed the large stitching of this method.

Sorry, my block is a little crooked in the photo there! The stitching is actually blue, lime green and fuschia pink but it doesn't really show up all that well. I had a little bit of a look around on the net and found this design which looks like cubes when you look at it vertically, although in this photo to me it looks like stars.

Our second block this week came from Lindsay at Lindsay Sews.  I quite like the look of reverse applique but I am a bit concerned about whether the unfinished edges are going to be a problem long term. I guess it depends on how I end up using the blocks.  I wasn't sure what look I wanted for this one so I actually made two blocks, the first using white with all my circles coming from the same fabric:

Then I made a second block using a darker colour and using a variety of fabrics in the circles.

I'm not sure which one I like best! I love the pink one (especially my little fussy cut teacup poking through!) but I'm not sure if the bright pink will overwhelm the other blocks which have more white in them. The proof will be in the pudding I guess once they are all finished.

Next week we have trapunto and cathedral windows - both techniques I haven't tried before so looking forward to the next challenge!

If you'd like to see what everyone else has been coming up with have a look at the flickr group page.  There are some great blocks on there!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Happy Australia Day! (and a Union Jack!)

January 26th in Australia is Australia Day and today it falls on a Saturday so we not only have today but also a public holiday on Monday to celebrate!  We're off to my best friend's house for a BBQ tonight so looking forward to that!

A few weeks ago one of our lovely QCA members, Josh (aka Molli Sparkles) was looking for some helpers to test a tutorial he wrote to make an anatomically correct Union Jack.  Why anatomically correct you say? Because the diagonal stripes on a Union Jack are not actually centred.  He's a braver man than me Gungadin because I would never have figured it out but he did!

 Now while its not strictly speaking the Australian flag, it does take up a large chunk of our flag so he wanted to have the tutorial ready to post on his blog for Australia Day. So I took a crack at it and I just love the way it turned out!

I was lucky enough to have the perfect fabric for the red, I so love this fabric and really wish I could get more but unfortunately there is none to be had. I bought it many moons ago to use for Kieran's dragon quilt and don't have a lot left.

If you'd like to make your very own Union Jack, you can find the tutorial here on Molli's blog.

Anyway, I have a niece who is currently living and working in London (she has dual citizenship due to her Mum being born in the UK) so this is destined to end up with her once I find just the right project to use it in. So watch this space!

Thanks for stopping by and

Happy Australia Day!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Block Testing for Kristy at Quiet Play

For those who don't know Kristy at Quiet Play is a bit of a star with paper piecing designs!  Recently she came up with blocks for each letter of the alphabet in both upper and lower case and was looking for people to test the blocks.  You can see a post on Kristy's blog about this here!

The idea was that the testers would choose from a list of words (which altogether meant that every letter was tested) and then make a block with the letters in a colourful fabric on a bright white background.  Then these would be sent to Kristy who will put them together into a quilt to donate to one of the Tasmanian Bushfire victims. 

Great idea I thought so I chose a word and went for it! I chose an uppercase word as I thought it might be less fiddly but I think I could have managed a lower case one in the end too.

So can you figure out what word I chose?  I think it would be my motto if I had one!  Here's the A block up a little closer so you can see the fabric I chose - its brighter than it looks!

So what word did I make?

Once these have all been tested the patterns will be available on Kristy's Craftsy page. I think I'm going to have to order the lower case ones now!  I think they would be very handy to have.  On this occasion Kristy asked us to join the letters with just a 1/4" seam but I think the lower case letters would look great spaced more like actual words are spaced too.

The great thing about the pattern is that Kristy has included instructions on how to re-size the blocks to make them larger as well, so you don't just have to make this size, which is an unfinished 5.5" square.

A lot of people are very nervous about paper piecing out there in quiltland. Once you try it, its really not that difficult but I would suggest starting with something simple just to practice the whole technique.  Kristy is also having a BOM on her blog called And Sew On The first block in the BOM is quite simple and would be a good starting point.  Here is mine:

Why not come and join in the fun?  All the blocks have a sewing theme so at the end you will have a lovely wallhanging for your sewing space!

How do you feel about paper piecing?  Have you tried it?

Thanks for stopping by today,

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Something New Sampler - Week 2

Last week I joined in with the Something New Sampler at The Cute Life  and we started with a Bargello block:

This week there are two blocks, the first was a folded block by Heidi at buttonsandbutterflies.com and while I experienced some issues with mine, I'm happy with the way it turned out.  I'm not sure I'd use this technique again as it uses a lot of fabric and the block is quite heavy but its always good to try something new.

The other block this week was a scraptastic block by Chelsea at  pinsandbobbins.blogspot.co.uk .  I didn't mind this one, although it was a little time consuming making the scrappy part.

Here they are all cuddled up together:

Going to be an interesting quilt I think!

Thanks for reading my blog today,

Friday, 18 January 2013

Something New Sampler - First Block!

On the spur of the moment I decided to join in with the Something New Sampler over at The Cute Life. It caught my attention as it uses rectangular blocks and will introduce some techniques which are a little different to the usual samplers such as Bargello, Sashiko, Trapunto, Folding etc!

The first block was the bargello block and I chose to use some of my stash of pinks and greens as these colours kept jumping into my cart when I was online shopping last year but I don't really have a project for them. Well, I didn't and now I do!

While I love the fabrics I used in this block, I should have used a solid or a contrasting fabric in there somewhere but overall, its a pretty block I guess! Oh well, live and learn!

Next week there are two more blocks, folding and scraptastic - sounds interesting, hope I can get them both done!

I received my December Quilting Block Swap Australia block this week from Jen in the USA:

That background fabric is almost psychedelic don't you think? Love it!

Well that's it for me! Time to fold the washing, blah!

Thanks for stopping by today,

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

First Quilt Finish for 2013!

Woohoo! Another quilt done - the first for 2013. Well, to be fair there wasn't that much left to do on this one when I stopped quilting it so I could get my Christmas projects finished last year but I won't let that bother me!

I bought the fabric for this quilt in March 2011 when my dear hubby and I had a lovely weekend away at Aldinga, SA. I got them from Mallee Country Quilts in McLaren Vale (who are currently in the process of moving to the Riverland). The fabric range is designed by Leesa Chandler and is the best Australian native floral fabric I've seen.

Before I got around to finishing this quilt I used the fussy cut leftovers to make my Waratah Wonder wallhanging at a class by Heather Ridley (more about it on this post).

Well, when Kymberley (my husband's daughter) saw that one she said she'd love to have something similar to hang on the wall in their home when she and her hubby Scott moved back to Canada, which I was happy to do however I could not get the fabric anywhere by that stage!

Luckily, however, Leesa brought out a second range early last year which was what I used for my 'A Bunch of Aussies' wallhanging for Kymberley and Scott (more about that one here). I didn't like that range as much as the first as the colours weren't quite as rich and the flowers were smaller but with a bit of perserverance I made it work!

I've since found out that the favourites from the range will in future be available (in Australia only) on an ongoing basis, so that's excellent news!

Anyway to get back to this quilt, I decided to quilt it by outlining only the flowers as I thought it would make them stand out and although its hard to see in the photos (sorry, some are a little fuzzy around the edges!), it worked!

Paper daisies on the left and bottle brush flowers on the right

 Flannel flowers

 Paper daisies (or everlasting daisies)

Waratah flowers

Anyway, I designed this wallhanging to take advantage of the design of the border fabric. It was made up of rows of different flowers across the fabric so the size of the borders etc were to make the most of those.

Close up of stitching on the bottle brush!

I've joined up with Marti's Thirteen in '13 UFO Challenge this year and this was my January project (I cheated a little there as I knew I didn't have much to go on this one but a finish is a finish and now its no longer a UFO!)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Fabric Overload! Seriously, I think I need an Intervention!

Every year at Christmas my boss gives me a lovely cash gift and I like to keep it aside to fund my sewing addictions activities during the year.  (Last year I made the mistake of keeping all the receipts for all my sewing related purchases and lets just say that it wasn't pretty, neither was it less than the amount my boss gives me each year!)

Anyway, for Christmas I also received a couple of Spotlight vouchers as well so I hit the post Christmas sale and got some nice markdown bargains there.

 A little hard to see but these two are to put with my charms I received in the rainbow charm swaps on Rainbow Charm Swaps & More Group on Facebook which I'm a member of.  I had originally planned to use both plain black and grey Prima Homespun but when I saw the grey print on the left I decided that was just what I needed and at just over $4 per metre the price was right too!

This one is a little hard to see but its from the Sock Monkey range and made up of all the rainbow colours, so will be great for another quilt using the rainbow charms (I do have quite a few!).

One of my sons loves penguins so this one this ocean fabric might be handy when I finally get around to making a cushion for him with that theme in mind.

Well, I did need some deep purples for my January swap block for Quilting Block Swap Australia so the two on the left were perfect for that but the other two just called my name so home they came too! Bit hard to see but they are from the Sock Monkey range and they're litttle buttons - very cute!

Okay so far, all good, paid for with one of my vouchers (well plus a tiny bit of my funds!).

Well then I kinda got carried away and when I received an email from equilter.com kindly letting me know they were having their big end of season clearance sale (aren't they lovely to share that with me!) I just had to have a sticky beak of course. They seriously have the absolute best ever website for fabric I have come across for ease of use, accuracy of photos/descriptions and I just love shopping on there! Thank goodness you can only fit so much in an international envelope and I won't buy more than one at a time otherwise I might have been in really big trouble!

This was an absolute bargain though - 4 yards for $19! Its such a gorgeous buttery yellow and it has a large gold embossed pattern all over it. It looked amazing on the website but it really didn't do it justice!

I'm going to use this as a background for the handmade project I have on the go at the moment. I posted some photos of the blocks here.  The other fabrics are a combination of blues so this should look lovely and I like it much better than the fabric I was trialling, which I felt was a bit bland.

Well these called my name too - the green is lovely with gold highlights and I like to keep a range of greens on hand. Paisley - I love paisley, and blue so perfect for me and the butterflies are to use on a bag  for my girlfriend (which had been planned for Christmas last year but will definitely be done for this year - or else!).

Another green here (and only just over $2 for half a yard) and, well, the other one just jumped in there too, its so much nicer in real life - from the Oriental Traditions range!

Ahh, but it doesn't end there!  The next day (or very soon thereafter) I received a lovely email from Pink Chalk Fabrics letting me know they had put a whole lot of their fabrics into their clearance section, so what was a girl to do but have a bit of a browse? I have to say I do find their website not as easy to navigate as that of equilter but I do love their fabrics!

I just love these two! The one on the right has been trying to get me to buy it for some time now as each time I visit the site I put it in my cart but then I talk myself out of buying any more fabric. Well this time I didn't, so it finally made it to my place, its from the Anna Maria Horner Field Study range.

Well, need I say more? The centre two are Joel Dewberry Notting Hill Pristine Pop and the others are Christmas fabrics from Michael Miller, would you believe?

Pink and green is a combination I seem to be hoarding at the moment so for less than $2 I just had to have this one (on the left) and the one on the right is just so much nicer than I thought it looked on the website, so glad I bought it and wish I bought more now!

Well this Phillip Jacobs Begonia Leaves is just so gorgeous I had to have it, say no more!

I washed all these lovelies yesterday on our one mild day between some scorchers and this afternoon I spent, wait for it, 2 and a half hours ironing it all! I'm somewhat ashamed to say I had to buy another storage box to put it all in! Mind you, that's only because I had to use one of mine to put all my Thirteen in '13 UFO Challenge projects in (click here if you want to know more about the challenge).

So, what do you think? Intervention needed?
Oh, I nearly forgot - I received these two lovely fat quarters from the Rainbow Charm Swaps & More fat quarter swap for Christmas (at least I didn't buy these!):

Thanks for reading my blog today. No more fabric purchases for me for quite some time now, I'm not looking at those dreaded emails from fabric shops for some time!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Good Start to January!

I've been getting cracking on my blocks for January - most likely because I've been on holidays from work! (Back to work next week - don't you just wish holidays could go on forever?).  Anyhoo, I have finished my Quilting Block Swap Australia block for January.  I was partnered with Deb in Queensland, who requested any star in purple, preferably bright or dark and no florals. Funny how some purples just don't seem to work with each other so I ended up making two blocks as this one reads almost pink (until you put it next to something pink!).

So after a visit to Spotlight (at which time I may have bought more than just purple fabric!) I came up with this one:

Purple is a bit hard to photograph accurately sometimes, I wonder why that is? This looks a bit blue but is actually a deep purple.  The block is called Brasstown Star which I found on Quilters Cache here.

I actually had these finished by New Year's Eve so a whole year ahead of time (hehehe!).

I've also joined the And Sew On BOM at Quiet Play. There are 9 paper pieced blocks which will end up being a great wallhanging for a sewing room (or hallway if you sew where I sew!). I have done the first one 'Measure Twice, Cut Once', which wasn't overly tricky if you've done paper piecing before.

Looking forward to trying some of the other more tricky ones soon! If you haven't visited Kristy's blog before, its worth a look. She designs some amazing paper pieced blocks and has them listed for sale here on Craftsy.

I'm also taking up the 13 in 2013 UFO Challenge with Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks to get cracking on my To Do list for 2013!  So far so good as my first project is my Wildflower Wallhanging and when I got started on it again, it didn't really need a lot more quilting. I had to stop quilting it to get Christmas projects done and now I've finished the quilting on it and am ready to square it up and bind it. Woohoo! One project nearly ticked off.  Even just getting the other projects bagged up and numbered was a cathartic experience as I feel like I'm more organised and not just dealing with a lengthy list!  No photos yet, I'll wait until its all done!

Aunt Marti is amazing and has just finished making 52 quilts in 52 weeks (hence the name of her blog!) and not for the first time, this is two years in a row. I'm fairly sure she doesn't sleep like the rest of us mortals!

How is your start to 2013 going? Are you getting stuck into it too?

Thanks for reading my blog today,

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2013 - Happy New Year! New Year - New To Do List!

Righto, its a new year so, onto the to do list for 2013!

  1. Make curtains for Auntie Betty before end of January when she comes back from WA!
  2. Native wildflower quilt/wallhanging (partly quilted)- finish quilting and bind 
  3. Rainbow quilt with rainbow charms from Quilt Club Australia charm swap - by end of March?
  4. 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!)
  5. Continue piecing hand stitched blue Cathedral Ceiling quilt - long term project for our room - no rush on this one!
  6. Pillow for Kieran using leftover Chinese symbol to go with his dragon quilt.
  7. Pillow for Simon using penguin fabric I bought online too long ago.
  8. Doggy quilts for Molly before old blanket falls apart.
  9. Bag each for Kerry and Sue - preferably for Christmas this year but unlikely so maybe for next year!
  10. Make some more card wallets for Christmas presents to match bags for Kerry and Sue.
  11. Bag or other project for Vanessa using Union Jack made to test Molli Sparkles' tutorial. - Perhaps in time for her birthday in September?
  12. Crumb Quilt from tiny scraps -maybe on sewing retreat in March?
  13. Rainbow string blocks -maybe on sewing retreat in March?
  14. Quilt for Auntie Betty - tube quilt? - for birthday in October - I have the fabric, just have to make it!
  15. Mariner's Compass quilt using ruler set bought in 2011!
  16. Shadow Trapunto Quilt from Geta Grama's book
  17. Scrap quilt using mixed charms from swaps and my scrap squares
  18. Native floral table runner - maybe to send overseas(?) 
  19. I Spy quilt
  20. Christmas Charms - project to use them on - placemats?
  21. Baby quilt using Peter Rabbit squares - just because they're there and need using. Donate somewhere?
On top of this there is my monthly commitment to Quilting Block Swap Australia and now to the And Sew On BOM at Quiet Play!

The good news is that I have done my January block for QBSA (well two actually but I don't want to boast!) AND (and here is the big one!) I have managed to get outside and pin baste my star quilt! (Small round of applause here please!). I actually did that yesterday as I wanted it done before the weather here in Adelaide hits the 40's on Thursday and Friday as then I can just close up the windows, whack on the airconditioner and get sewing!  Although I really must start with the curtains for Aunty Betty just to get them out of the way. I'm only on holidays until the end of this week so I really want to spend the time on quilty things - we'll see!

As a bit of an annual update I thought I'd share a photo of my two lovely boys - what a difference 12 months makes! Here they are last Christmas (Simon on the left, Kieran on the right).

And here they are in late October (not quite 12 months but sometimes its hard to get a photo of them together!).

So 2013 - here I come!

Thanks for reading my blog!