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, 20 January 2014

Star Surround - Finally Finished!

Last year I took part in the Star Surround quiltalong run by Melissa at Happy Quilting and I got as far as putting all my blocks together and managed to get six put together into a cot quilt top.  However that's as far as I got with all the family medical and other dramas!

This year I am again taking part in the UFO-along at Aunt Marti's blog, 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks. Fortunately we only need to do one UFO per month rather than one a week!  The first number drawn was No. 7.  Since the baby I am making the cot quilt for is due on 1st of February, which is rapidly approaching, I made this quilt my project No. 7!  I promise the rest will be randomly drawn!

So this was where the project was at:

As I had the top mostly done I sat and looked at it for a while and decided it needed a little bit extra to finish off the pattern and make it a little bit larger.

After selecting a backing and adding in a feature strip as it was a tiny bit narrow (sorry, no photo pre quilting of the batting!) I got it basted and then decided I wanted to try quilting it with Aurifil. I've heard good things about it and did a bit of a search and found a stockist in Adelaide not too far away that had some in stock.  I had intended to buy 50wt but got talked into 40wt and came home and got stuck in!

I know the baby will be a girl so wanted a design that was a little bit softer so went with a spiral design and a scrappy binding.

Here's some close ups which show the quilting better:

Here's a shot of the back. I do love that feature fabric!

Now all I have to do is make a label but I can't do that until I know what the baby's name and birthdate is!

And my test drive of Aurifil? It wasn't too bad, I did still get some breaks but on the whole I would use it again but I did think I would try the 50wt on a quilt too and see which weight I prefer.  I love when serendipity steps in and recently I won a pack of 50wt Aurifil thread on the Quilting Block Swap Australia Facebook page. Sue, the co-ordinator of the group, and I were at an event together (post still to come on that!) on Sunday and she hand delivered my prize to me.
These are the loveliest colours and unfortunately my camera and the lighting at night don't show their true colours, they are much brighter and prettier than they look here!

Lets not forget I still have the remaining Star Surround blocks to put together into a quilt yet (another of my UFO's for this year) and these colours are perfect for that project! Thanks Sue and the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring the prize!

Thanks for visiting my blog,

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles!

Well around Christmas time (with my trusty Christmas bonus from my boss burning a hole in my pocket) I couldn't resist and hit the eQuilter.com clearance sale to stock up on some fabric goodness.

Being the slack type that I am I finally got around to snapping some photos and so can share my new arrivals with you. (I may or may not have also been to the Spotlight clearance as well but as I forgot to snap photos there is no evidence so I'm not admitting anything!).

First up are a couple of batik lovelies. The one on the left is Morris Flower in Mulberry and I just fell in love with it. The colour is just gorgeous so into the envelope it went.  The one on the right is Greenhouse 2, Forest Leaf Batik in Golden Sand and didn't photograph very well but is equally lovely!

A mixed bunch in the next photo. The one on the left is Garden Elegance, Leaves of Beauty in Cherry Red and was another love match for its rich colour.  On the right is Istanbul - Turkish Delight in cobalt blue/gold colourway.  Not sure what I'll do with it but it called my name so here it is.  In the centre is Lil Miss Sew & Sew - Thimbles Aplenty in pewter and may well end up as a backing on my And Sew On wallhanging. 

Thought it needed a close up of the detail in the thimbles!

This last group I bought with a quilt in mind for my brother who has always loved the sea and used to sail.  I have a loosely formed idea in my head and am currently collecting fabrics which remind me of the sea.   On the left we have Makower Coastal - Weathered Wood in sandy beige, in the middle is Neutral Territory - Scribble Circles in seafoam/gold which is a lovely subtle fabric. On the right is Gatherings - Marbled Tones in ocean blue and to me just takes me into the waves!

So there you have them. Now I have to behave myself as I want to hang on the rest of my bonus so I can do some classes as the Australian Machine Quilting Fair here in Adelaide in October!

Linking up to Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles!

Thanks for visiting,

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Scorching Summer Sewing

This week our little city of Adelaide has been blessed with some really hot weather, one of the joys of living in Adelaide in the summer!  We have had 40+ degrees celcius temps all week, yesterday it was 45, today its forecast to be 46 so I've been out early, done my weekly shop, library visit and am home in the airconditioning where I will remain unless something unexpected comes up!  

For those still on the Fahrenheit scale 46 degrees is 114.8. Last time I looked we had made it to just under 44 just before noon and given that the hottest temps are usually around 3pm in the afternoon I think you can safely say we'll get there today, particularly as there is quite a strong, hot northerly wind blowing now - Yuck! Our record in Adelaide is 46.1 from around 75 years ago so we might give that a run for its money.

These are classic conditions for nasty bushfires and as there were already some active early around the state this morning, I really hope no further ones are started and that our Country Fire Service personnel can stay safe and cool at home instead of melting outside.(Luckily we live in the suburbs so no fire threat for us)  If you've never experienced these sort of temperatures its very similar to walking out into an oven and it really takes your breath away once the temperature gets over around 43. Fortunately we do have a very dry heat so there is 0 humidity but that's about the only good thing I can say for it!

So what do you do when you can't go outside for fear of spontaneously combusting? You sew of course! One of my projects for January was to help Kristy at QuietPlay by testing one of her new paper pieced patterns before she puts it out there on Craftsy.  Kristy is the queen of paper piecing and has some amazing patterns available on Craftsy, some for purchase but many are free, including some great LEGO ones.  She also currently has a BOM happening at the moment called Sew Kitschy. You can download each month's pattern free that month so you might want to check that out!

So, onto the block.  Here is the front page of the Kookaburra pattern.  

Here is my test drive of the pattern:

It would definitely have looked better with a plain background but other than black or white I really don't have a lot of solids. Maybe I need to sort that out!  I chose this fabric for the background as it also has birds on it so at least he won't get lonely!  I have also discovered a lack of brown and black prints in my stash!

In case you aren't from Australia and aren't aware of kookaburras, they are a type of kingfisher and are lovely birds with a very distinctive call (you might like this Youtube clip of a couple calling).  This is a photo we took of one a couple of years ago (he's looking at something on the ground that looked tasty I think!).

Oh I realised too that I haven't shared the lovely blocks I received from my QBSA partners for January. Coral (a new member) sent me this one:

My second partner was Karen and she sent this block:

Ooops I really should have given that one a press before I took the photo there! I have seven blocks so far and its amazing to see how each block has a different look to it according to the scraps that people have used.

Well, that's it for me, hope I don't melt before the day is done and that the power stays on all day as they sometimes do rolling blackouts to spread the load. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Planning for 2014 and Some QBSA Blocks

Another year is here so I thought I should get myself organised and list off my projects to keep myself accountable!  I'm taking part in the UFO challenge at Marti's 52 Quilts blog again. If you want to get yourself moving on UFOs (or other projects) I found it was a great way to do it last year.  Hopefully I'll be able to put a button up to link directly but at the moment its causing Marti some issues!

So (in no particular order!) here is my project list plus a few 'on the backburner' projects that I just want to list somewhere.
  1. Broken Herringbone Quilt - finish blocks and put top together.
  2. Quilt 'And Sew On' Wallhanging made last year.
  3. Mariner's Compass Quilt for my brother Kym (I have ruler set I bought several years ago I want to test out!)
  4. Complete and quilt QBSA swap star quilt.
  5. Make more blocks using crumb scraps.
  6. Use my rainbow swap charms to make a quilt.
  7. Complete Cot Quilt for my niece - this is my January challenge project and is underway!
  8. Make more Star Value scrappy blocks
  9. Quilt Star Surround Lap Quilt
  10. Make a Shadow Trapunto project from book by Geta Grama
  11. Use pinwheel blocks made at sewing getaway into a project - maybe placemats?
  12. Christmas swap charms - use in a project - perhaps a table runner and/or pot holders?
  13. Castle Ceiling Quilt - continue handpiecing.
  14. Make handbags from patterns won last year.
  15. Project using mixed charms from swaps and scraps using pattern from book I have
  16. Make quilt top using Peter Rabbit fabric pieces
  17. Continue with QBSA block swap
  18. I Spy project using swap blocks - very long term as I don't need this yet.
  19. Finish watching all my Craftsy workshops I've signed up for, particularly the Leah Day ones.
  20. Try quilting feathers this year!
Well that's quite a list! The first 12 are my challenge projects so they should definitely get done (in theory!).

Okay so we need something quilty to look at right? After sitting out three months due to family dramas last year, I had two swap partners this month, Karen and Coral.  Conveniently both were after blue and white blocks, Karen wanted Churn Dash for a charity quilt with a masculine feel. I made her two blocks:

Coral is a new member and asked for any star block in blue and white. She is also making a charity quilt so I also sent her two blocks to get her started:

Lastly on Christmas Eve we received an email to tell us that Kymberley, my hubby's daughter who lives in Canada, had made WWF sponsorship of a Mexican Grey Wolf on our behalf as we had recently lost our beloved dog and she felt we had been long enough without an animal! I thought it was a nice idea and after looking at a photo of a wolf thought no more of it.

To my surprise on Friday last week we received a squishy parcel that clearly wasn't the fabric I was expecting!  Instead we received this little guy in the mail:

Isn't he adorable? He's our new family pet and after much discussion of Mexican names he has been named Raoul (because as my son Simon pointed out that you can make it sound like a wolf howl! Raooooooooul!!!) although I have taken to calling him Wolfy. He's been a source of great amusement in the house, with my other son Kieran positioning him in amusing situations such as reading the TV guide, looking out the window, watching TV etc.  He even paid a visit to Murray Bridge to see George, my father-in-law, in the nursing home to the great amusement of Reg, who shares the room with him.  I'm happy to say he has brightened up our home so a big thank you to Kymberley and Scott!

What was your favourite Christmas gift this year?

Well, off to get working on my January project a bit more, that baby will be arriving soon and will need that quilt!

Thanks for reading my blog,