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, 28 August 2013

And Sew On - Big Stash (and something to make you jealous!)

Well, made it in before the end of the month!  Didn't think I was going to get there this month as I've been busy with my Star Surround Quiltalong commitments but due to a bonus sewing day at home this block got done after all!

Tuesday morning I arrived at work to find that our building had been flooded with large amounts of water the night before - ick!  Very wet carpets, collapsed ceiling tiles, damp smells, no electricity so no phones, computers etc.  Sounds like a bad thing right? Only partly (for me at least!) as fortunately the part of the building our office is in stayed dry so no loss or damage to sort out, my boss is on annual leave this week so no clients to cancel and no way I can stay and work so home again I go!  That means bonus sewing time for me!

This was how I spent my time:

Not too bad.  I should have used a darker solid colour for the interior of the cupboard to give it a better contrast but it will do!  Had to hunt around for some fabric with appropriate writing for the book stack:

I decided to add a bead rather than piece the door handle and I found just the right one:

It looks a bit like one of those pretty crystal door handles don't you think?

Off to link up on Kristy's blog post.  Only one block to go on this BOM.  Then I will have to think about how I decide to put them all together.

Oh and the bit to make you jealous?  This weekend I'm heading off with 4 other lovely ladies for some serious crafty action. We're heading off to North Beach at Wallaroo for a weekend of sewing (or other craft of choice) by the seaside.  So by the seaside in fact that it is beachfront! Just so you will be jealous, here are some photos from last year's getaway.  Looking towards the town of Wallaroo:

and the other direction:

Try to ignore the fact that it was obviously bin day and that the tide was out at the time and you get the picture!

We have had a very wet winter here in Adelaide this year and the weather has suddenly brightened up this week and they are forecasting lovely weather over the weekend (low 20's) just in time for lunching on the balcony and watching the sea!

So this Friday night I'll be heading off with my bestie (in her new car!) for a weekend of sewing in my PJs, chatting, laughing, walking on the beach and generally totally enjoying myself! Woohoo!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Star Surround Quiltalong - Surrounds!

Well another intense week of sewing in the Star Surround Quiltalong - at least it was if you decided to make 16 blocks like me!  I spent a bit of time dithering about making design decisions about which surround would go with which centre but I can still change my mind when I'm putting them together without too much drama.

This week was all about two components, the sides and the corners and while pretty straightforward to put together, it did require some significant time at the machine on my days off!  I wanted to get them done and out the way during the week though as I REALLY need to do our tax returns and catch up on a HUGE pile of filing I have been ignoring by sewing instead of doing it!  (Lets just say I think the last time I did a proper filing session was 12 months ago!).  Anyway, enough of boring stuff you want to see what I've been up to right?

I was trying to be all artistic in laying out all the pieces but what I ended up with was a dog's breakfast!

So I decided to just lay them out in a grid fashion, boring but better!

I couldn't resist laying a few blocks out to see what they'll look like once I've sewn them together:

Loving this quiltalong!  I didn't really have a plan for this quilt when I started and now I've found out a niece is having a baby (after a few false starts) so I might take some of the blocks and make a baby quilt for her. That would leave me with only 7 blocks but I still have enough of most of the fabrics to make some more blocks to make another quilt down the track.  Don't you think it would make a pretty baby's quilt?

I don't think I'll get around to quilting it before the big parade but I'll be happy with just getting it put together by then!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

August UFO Projects

Well the lucky number for August in the 13 UFO's in 2013 quiltalong at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks was:


My No. 11 project was to make something using this Union Jack block I made while I was testing a tutorial (which you can find here) for Josh, better known in blogland as Molli Sparkles!

 My niece (who has dual British and Australian citizenship) is currently working in London and I felt this was definitely something that needed to go to her.  After pondering ideas during the year I decided to use it to make a Passport Wallet using this pattern.  It did mean cutting it back a bit but I hoped it would still look okay.  To be on the safe side I made a test project first using the pattern and boy am I glad I did!

The issue was not so much with the pattern as the thickness of the interfacing I was trying to use.  Given the pattern called for heavy weight interfacing, off I went to purchase same seeing as I didn't have any.  I happily started making it as per instructions and then when it came to turning it all the right way round it came to a screeching halt - the interfacing was way too thick (which I thought as I was putting it together but persevered anyway, duh!)  No photos of this stage as I was too annoyed with it!  There may have been some unconfirmed swearing at this point.
Nevertheless I did not give up but went and purchased some medium weight interfacing and started over, reusing some of the interior bits.  I initially tried to use the interior pockets which had the thicker interfacing but had to give up on that idea as the whole thing wouldn't sit flat -  more swearing and unpicking!  So third time lucky, and only reusing the smaller inside bits..... success! Much better results this time around:

Pretty happy with this little internal pocket, its the first time I have ever put a snap onto anything!

 Don't you think this fabric is just perfect for a passport wallet? This bit even has an Australian stamp on it!

 I thought I had taken a photo of the inside of the wallet but apparently not now that I've uploaded the photos - doh!

Anyhoo, now that I had a model to look at I decided that my Union Jack would still work in this project.  I did need to add a bit of contrast to get the width right and lose a bit off the ends but all in all I'm pretty happy with it!

Now this one I do have a photo of the inside.  There's a spot for your passport (obviously!), airline tickets, itinerary, credit/business cards, a coin purse and even a loop for a pen!

Full exterior shot:

The good news is that the original one will not go to waste as my brother (father of said London living niece!) is heading over on holiday to Malta and other exotic European locations early next month so I'm going to give it to him to use.  There is an element of bribery there though as guess who I'll be asking to deliver the Union Jack version to my niece when they meet up in Malta?  It will be an early birthday pressie as her birthday is in late September.

So there we go, two for the price of one this month (more or less!).
Thanks for visiting today,

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Star Surround Quiltalong - Centre Stars

This week we finally got to start putting blocks together after lots of cutting and trimming!

It was time to take all those half square triangles and turn them into something pretty!

First there was one:

And then they were done!

Well, it wasn't quite that quick (it actually took 3 sessions over three days!) but now they are finished!

Linking up with Happy Quilting Star Surround Quiltalong

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Star Surround Quiltalong - A Huge Flock of Geese A-flying!

Well after last week's marathon session of trimming half square triangles I was hoping for an easier task this week.  I was a little worried when I saw it would be flying geese as I have never been a big fan of making them however all is well!  Melissa has a method of making flying geese which makes it a breeze! You can find this week's instructions here.

First I spent some time ruling lines down the centre of all my white background pieces so I was all ready to roll on my day off.  Two of these are then laid over a large block and you stitch either side of the line as for half square triangles.  Zoom, and they were done!

Slice them up the middle,
 press them open
and repeat with the remaining white background pieces.

Slice them up again,

press them open again, trim off the 'ears' and you're done!

How easy is that?  In a matter of no time You have a huge pile flock of flying geese, done and dusted.

Melissa you are a legend! You can find the link here for Melissa's method for No Waste Flying Geese. Go there, do it, you know you want to!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Necessary but Not Nice

We live in Adelaide, South Australia which is an area of Australia blessed (and I use that term scathingly) with wondrous 'bay of biscay soil'.  Our house is in an area which is particularly fond of movement, if the nearby main road is anything to go by given that it undulates dramatically despite being patched up regularly. Of course the Dept of Transport's solution is to put up a sign that says 'Warning, uneven surface' like that really helps, thanks for your efforts!

Anyway some years ago we, in our 'wisdom', planted a couple of what we thought at the time were small bottle brush trees which grew to be somewhat taller than the suggested maximum of 3 metres tall.  I loved these trees as they shaded the front of our house in the summer, had masses of lovely flowers in the spring, followed by pretty pink new foliage and were a haven for birds which we watched through our loungeroom windows.

However over the last 18 months we have experience some serious cracking in our house.  Now we are no strangers to cracks in our house. Its double brick so has brick internal walls as well as externally.  The major irritation in all the years we've had the house has been fixing cracks on a semi-regular basis.  These latest cracks however are concerning me as they are in new locations and in walls previously unaffected.  After some serious late night worrying and deliberating we made the decision to have our trees removed and that sad day arrived this week.

Here they are before they were cut down:

You can just see my 6' 2" son standing on the verandah behind them - that will give you an idea of their height.  They weren't enormous just too big for such a small yard and way to close to the house. ( Don't mind the weeds in the street verge, any lawn that was there died off during water restrictions in our drought a few years back and we haven't replaced it).

Why did we cut them down? This might give you an idea:

The front of the house looks so bare and forlorn at the moment.  We do have a lovely pile of woodchips for mulch now at least.  We spent Sunday redistributing the woodchips around the front and back gardens. I love to see men at work don't you?! (No 1 son on the left and Dad on the right).  This is about half of the pile we started with!

Of course this kind of work needs supervising and our old dog Molly was keeping a watchful eye on things and helping out by chewing up as many sticks as she could get her teeth into!

Here's No. 2 son hard at work! He was actually waiting for the wheel barrow to be loaded up but he got much busier after the neighbour over the road lent us two more wheelbarrows!

The tree people are coming back to mulch the stumps this week and then we'll have to come up with a new garden plan. As we have gone from mostly full shade to full sunshine, in Adelaide in the coming summer that means scorching hot so we have a major re-think to do while staying away from anything taller than 1.5 metres - I'm not getting caught again!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Star Surround Quiltalong - HST's!

This week in the Star Surround Quiltalong its all about half square triangles.  Choices had to be made in my 3" blocks for combinations, with each fabric appearing in two different sets.  Decisions, decisions!

Got that difficult bit done and then got stuck into making the HST's.

Step 1:  Drew a line on one piece of each pairing:
(I apologise for the slightly smeary look of these photos, after seeing the first couple I discovered greasy fingerprint on the lens. Note to self, when letting hubby and sons borrow camera to go to wrestling, ensure lens is cleaned on return!)

Step 2:  Sewed 1/4" away from both sides of the line and
Step 3:  Slice all these squares in half.

Step 4:  Pressed all of the HST's open.

Step 6:  Trimmed all the HST's to 2.5" square (well I've nearly finished them!).

Phew, just in time for the next step!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Friday, 2 August 2013

18 years ago...

A quick, non-quilty related post today to wish my baby boy (oh he's going to hate that!) a very Happy 18th Birthday! 

Its been an interesting 18 years, starting with a very loud (and when I say loud I mean ear ringing, rock concert level LOUD - I'm not exaggerating here people) 9lb 5oz bundle of sleepless nights, through his spectacular daredevil lumps and bumps filled, non-speaking early years to now!  Now he's around 6ft 2in tall, doing Year 12 and is an apprentice chef with a great sense of humour and lots of potential for awesomeness (takes after his Mum there - running joke!).

He's not a party lover so tonight the four of us are off out to dinner at a Greek restaurant for delicious Mediterranean goodies.

So happy birthday Simon.  Love you always Monster!

love from Mum,